While it is often assumed that individuals with paralysis prioritize recovery of ambulation, multiple studies have demonstrated that restoration of bowel and bladder function is ranked among the top 2-3 priorities, above goals such as regaining lower extremity function and finding a resolution to chronic pain. The great majority of people with paralysis including SCI suffer from severe neurogenic bowel and bladder dysfunction, which, in turn, has a major impact on their social well-being and quality of life.
Rancho is in the forefront of combining advances in bioengineering, neuroscience and neurological rehabilitation and recovery in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of lower urinary tract (LUT) and digestive system of individuals with neurogenic bowel and bladder dysfunction. Rancho’s transdisciplinary collaborators from surrounding research and academic institutions is working to not only shed light on how the central nervous system controls the urinary tract, but also result in the development of new and more effective therapies for voiding dysfunction in neurologically-injured individuals.
Research focus includes but not limited to:
- Transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation to enable bladder function after paralysis
- Early sacral nerve stimulation to improve bladder function after traumatic spinal cord injury
- Investigating a novel catheter design (Connected Catheter)
- Investigating the brain mechanisms of urinary control
To learn more about the Urology research at Rancho, click here.