"The Path to Resolving Bowel and Bladder Problems following Spinal Cord Injury is Becoming Clear" - Tracey Wheeler, PhD | Program Officer, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
The inability to control one’s own bowel and bladder impacts every aspect of daily life. The indignities faced after spinal cord injury (SCI) range from loss of independence and privacy in these basic functions to perpetual fear of “having an accident.” It is consistently one of the foremost challenges identified by people with SCI; yet there have been few attempts to coordinate resources to improve bowel and bladder management. In March of 2017, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation convened a workshop to provide leadership and focus attention on this fundamental need. Participants included a highly selective group of approximately 40 experts including clinicians, researchers, patient advocates, government agencies and potential funding partners to identify a path forward.
With the support of an International Advisory Committee, plans were crafted to develop a program that would build collective momentum towards identifying the most promising approaches to pursue, assuming a 10-year translational timeline as a reasonable and achievable goal. To frame the working discussions that were the core of the workshop, currently available tools, knowledge and treatments were reviewed. Participants presented compelling descriptions of the challenges they face as physicians and consumers, and in addressing translational issues faced in improving on current technologies.
This presentation reviews the 5 core recommendations from this effort and provides an update on the progress made since to address the pressing needs of people with SCI. 1)Neuromodulation 2)Clinical Practice Guidelines 3)Bowel Physiology 4)Sensation/Feedback 5)Rehabilitation/Activity/Exercise.
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