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Clinical Trial Summary

This study uses Magnetic Resonance Imaging to image the brain and spinal cord before and after an Intermittent Hypoxia intervention. Acquiring these scans in patients with chronic cervical spinal cord injury and uninjured controls will enable characterization of changes in neurovascular physiology caused by this promising new therapy.


Clinical Trial Description

Acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) is an emerging, safe technique for facilitating neural plasticity in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI), demonstrating significant transient improvements in respiratory function, plantar flexion, locomotor function, and hand dexterity and strength. Although these studies observe some degree of success eliciting plasticity, we lack a framework for systematic optimization of the AIH protocol for individual patients. Better understanding of what physiological mechanisms drive AIH-induced neural plasticity in humans will directly inform the development of AIH as an effective treatment option in chronic SCI. This study applies magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to test how AIH influences vascular and neural properties of the brain and spinal cord. Individuals with SCI and uninjured participants will be recruited to undergo two MRI scan sessions on one day. In between these scan sessions, participants will undergo a single 30-minute session of AIH. In each scan session, functional MRI will assess AIH-induced changes in neural activation patterns during motor tasks (unilateral isometric hand grasping tasks) and vascular reactivity to breath hold tasks (transient hypocapnia to induce vasodilation). Additional structural scans will be acquired to aid in image analysis. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05183113
Study type Interventional
Source Northwestern University
Contact Mark A Hoggarth, DPT PhD
Phone 773-217-0010
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date May 20, 2019
Completion date July 20, 2022

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