Join us for A Walk to Believe. Register now!


Reeve Foundation and Kessler Foundation Announce Novel Pilot Study to Improve Bladder Health in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

Clinical trial will utilize Butterfly iQ™ to address one of the most common and challenging medical conditions related to spinal cord injury

Short Hills, NJ – May 6, 2024 —The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and Kessler Foundation announced today a pilot study to revolutionize bladder management for individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI). The study introduces the Butterfly iQ™, a cutting-edge, portable ultrasound device that enables those living with SCI to monitor their bladder volume at home, potentially mitigating the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), which often result from improper bladder management.

“After a spinal cord injury, disrupted communication between the bladder muscles and the brain can lead to UTIs and long-term health complications,” says Marco Baptista, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “Our goal at the Reeve Foundation is not only to understand these challenges but to pioneer innovative solutions that may enhance the quality of life for those living with SCIs.”

The study is being funded through a $56,559 grant from the Reeve Foundation and underscores the nonprofit’s commitment to addressing secondary conditions that severely impact quality of life.

The study will recruit ten participants from the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation’s Urology and SCI Outpatient programs. The primary study objective is to determine if the use of the bladder ultrasound improves the quality of life in relation to bladder management for people with SCI who routinely perform intermittent catheterization.

This exciting pilot study offers new hope for individuals facing neurogenic bladder after an SCI.

Based upon the results, consideration for a larger clinical trial will be undertaken to see if this improves the frequency of medical complications, including leakage between catheterizations and UTIs.

Steven Kirshblum, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Kessler Foundation and Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation remarked, “This presents an excellent chance to explore cutting-edge technology directly accessible to patients/caregivers, potentially elevating their quality of life. Moreover, it could enhance medical care and help prevent bladder-related complications.”

About the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. Additionally, through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living, the Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) promotes the health, well-being, and independence of people living with paralysis, providing comprehensive information, resources, and referral services assisting over 125,000 individuals and families since its launch in 2002. The Reeve Foundation is committed to elevating our community’s voices and needs to achieve greater representation and independence.

We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit or call 800-225-0292.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research. Our scientists seek to improve cognition, mobility, and long-term outcomes, including employment, for adults and children with neurological and developmental disabilities of the brain and spinal cord including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and autism. Kessler Foundation also leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities.

Media Contact Reeve Foundation:
Julia Leonard, Media Specialist
[email protected]

Media Contact Kessler Foundation:
Carolann Murphy
[email protected]