Servo-controlled device to maintain physiological functioning

Principal Investigator: 
University: 
University of British Columbia
Faculty: 
Faculty of Medicine
Department: 
Department of Medicine

300,000 individuals live with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the US alone, of which 180,000 suffer from orthostatic hypotension, sudden falls in blood pressure upon standing. Such dysregulated blood pressure can also be caused by multiple sclerosis, autonomic failure, autonomic neuropathy, or neurological cancers. A high quality, efficient, and cost effective method is needed to help these individuals regulate their blood pressure.

Dr. Krassioukov has developed a device and algorithm for controlling autonomic processes in patients using electrical stimulation, based on the surprising discovery that electrical stimulation of the spinal cord circuitry caudal to SCI can control the activity of disconnected sympathetic circuitry to regulate blood pressure. The device can be individualized, and electrical output may increase or decrease based on the information received from the patient’s physiological monitor.

Dr. Krassioukov’s product may improve patients’ control of autonomic functions such as dysregulated blood pressure due to SCI or other injuries or diseases, improving their quality of life and ability to manage symptoms, at a lower cost and with improved effectiveness than current methods.

Host Institution: 
University of British Columbia
Research Location: 
International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries
Year: 
2017