Biomarkers of Spinal Cord Injury Pain Evolution during Acute Rehabilitation (BioSPEAR)

The purpose of this research study is to investigate and better understand neuropathic pain following a spinal cord injury (SCI), during acute inpatient rehabilitation. Neuropathic pain is a complex and often severe form of pain experienced by individuals with SCI. For this reason, it is important to understand how often neuropathic pain occurs in people with recent SCI.  It is also important to know how commonly used treatments, including medications and non-drug therapies, affect the way neuropathic pain is felt and how neuropathic pain changes over time and to understand how neuropathic pain may interfere with life activities. It is also important to be able to identify biological substances that can be tested for in the blood that may be related to the development of the pain. Substances which hold promise include proteins found within cells that are released after SCI, one of which is HMGB1, that have been linked to the development of neuropathic pain.

Understanding neuropathic pain after SCI may provide clinicians with better tools to diagnose and treat pain. Having a better understanding of neuropathic pain could help guide clinical decisions and inform newly injured people on what to expect in the long-term with regard to their pain. The findings from this study (i.e. study results) could provide clinicians with potential new approaches to treatment and ultimately the ability to improve the quality of life of those with spinal cord injury. 

Thomas Bryce, MD is the principal investigator of this project.