New breakthrough: Epidural stimulation improves cardiovascular function

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on September 17, 2018 # Research, Assistive Technology

We have great news to kick off the week thanks to an exciting research development that was made possible through your support of the Reeve Foundation.

In a study that was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), four research participants at the University of Louisville have experienced improved cardiovascular function as a result of epidural stimulation, including blood pressure and heart rate regulation. All four are living with chronic cervical spinal cord injuries.

Cardiovascular dysfunction cannot only diminish quality of life, but it can also be very dangerous and even deadly. For the first time since 2009, participant Stefanie Putnam is able to prepare -- and eat -- meals for herself, put the vest on her service dog, Kaz, and drive herself to activities with her horse without losing consciousness or gasping for breath.

Breakthroughs like this are why we need your support. With your online gift of $50, $75, or $100 being matched for the month of September, your dollars will move groundbreaking research twice as far and rapidly improve quality of life for individuals living with spinal cord injury.

I am an active member in my own life instead of merely existing. I am really living! I can feed myself and carry on a conversation. Without the disruption of passing out or gasping for breaths in the middle of a task or having to stop and be back in my chair for two hours at a time, I can accomplish so much more. Now I can live my best life with energy to focus on my future. - Stefanie Putnam

Thanks to you and the Reeve Foundation's promise to speed the development of technology like epidural stimulation, Stefanie's life is now forever changed.

Images and video courtesy of the University of Louisville

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