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Epidural Stimulation After Spinal Cord Injury (ESL-SCI)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT04105296
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified October 2019 by McGuire Research Institute.
Recruitment status was:  Not yet recruiting
First Posted : September 26, 2019
Last Update Posted : October 3, 2019
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
McGuire Research Institute

Brief Summary:
The purpose of the current study is to determine the effects of applying epidural stimulation (ES) on motor control recovery in Veterans with SCI. The intervention will be accompanied with the use of a powered exoskeleton (EKSO®) for 6 months to facilitate standing and to produce step-like movement in persons with chronic motor complete (AIS A or B) SCI and level of injury below C5 . Walking speed, distance, muscle activation pattern as measured by surface EMG and walking parameters including stand-up time, walking time, distance will be considered primary outcome variables. Cardiovascular performance, as measured by resting blood pressure and heart rate, peak oxygen consumption during walking, energy expenditure, whole and regional body composition assessments will also be measured. The effects of training (ES+EKSO) on , and speed of walking will also be evaluated.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Spinal Cord Injuries Device: EKSO+ES Phase 1 Phase 2

Detailed Description:
Five veterans with chronic motor complete SCI (AIS A or B) will be recruited to participate in the current trial. The primary objective is to determine how implantation of an epidural stimulator can help to control movement in the leg muscles to stand and perform stepping. Participants will be trained using a robotic suit and parallel bars. The procedure of using epidural stimulation with the robotic suit is experimental. The participant will be scheduled to perform temporary implantation followed by permanent implantation. Seven days later, two 8-electrode arrays of Vectris lead will be implanted in an operating room. The research team will be responsible for helping the participants to trigger the paralyzed muscles from supine and sitting using for 5 days per week. Participants would be required to come for study visits twice daily for 2 hours per day. Each visit will last approximately 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening. During these visits, participants will practice walking with a robotic suit for 30-60 minutes followed by overground walking between parallel bars, or with a walker or crutches.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 5 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Device Feasibility
Official Title: Epidural Stimulation for Locomotion After Spinal Cord Injury
Estimated Study Start Date : January 2020
Estimated Primary Completion Date : December 30, 2021
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 30, 2021

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: EKSO+ES
6 months of exoskeleton training with spinal cord epidural stimulation.
Device: EKSO+ES
6 months of exoskeleton training with epidural stimulation.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Six minute-walk and 10-meter walk distance Tests [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Walking distance and speed will also be determined

  2. Surface electromyography of 6 different muscle groups [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    The EMG activity from 6 major leg muscles will be measured during locomotion

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    During sitting, standing and walking

  2. Oxygen uptake using Portable Indirect Calorimetry [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    During sitting, standing and walking

  3. Body composition assessment of fat mass and fat-free mass using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Before and after training

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. A written clearance by the medical doctor to ensure that the participant is safely able to engage in the program.
  2. Participants who require assistance with activities of daily living, must have a caregiver or companion with them throughout their participation in the study.
  3. Participants will have to be 2 years post-injury with any level of injury below C5 and using wheelchair as the primary mode of mobility. The study is primarily exploratory, and all participants will be between 18-70 years old with SCI.
  4. Hip width (distance between two greater trochanters), upper leg length (greater trochanter to the lateral aspect of joint line of the knee joint) and lower leg length (lateral aspect of joint line of the knee joint to the bottom of the foot) that can fit the robotic suit.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Unhealed fracture in either lower or upper extremities
  2. Severe scoliosis, hip knee ROM or flexion knee contractures preventing positioning in an exoskeleton or plantarflexion deformity greater than 20 degrees.
  3. High resting blood pressure greater than 140/80 mmHg and or sudden hypotension upon standing as characterized by drop in blood pressure by 20 mmHg especially in persons with tetraplegia.
  4. Other medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled type II DM, uncontrolled hypertension, and those on insulin, pressures sores stage 3 or greater, or symptomatic urinary tract infection.
  5. Unable to fit in the device for any reason.
  6. Taking anti-coagulants or anti-platelet agents, including aspirin if unable to be off this medication for medical reasons.
  7. Implanted pacemakers and/or implanted defibrillator devices.
  8. Any condition that, in the judgment of the principal investigator or medical provider, precludes safe participation in the study and/or increases the risk of infection.
  9. Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) T-Score less than -2.5. Scans done will include total body, dual hips and knees.
  10. Functional upper and lower extremity range of motion (ROM), strength, spasticity and skin integrity will also have assessed prior to enrollment in the program. The Modified Ashworth Scale will be used to ensure safety of the participants prior to engagement in the rehabilitation program. Participants with severe spasticity or limited ROM will be excluded in the trial. This will be done based on the manufacture's recommendation.
  11. Other exclusion criteria may include the followings

    • subjects with uncontrolled autonomic dysreflexia
    • subjects with concurrent severe neurological injuries other than SCI: MS, CP, TBI, stroke;
    • subjects with unresolved deep vein thrombosis (DVT);
    • subjects with prosthetic lower limbs;
    • subjects with psychiatric or cognitive impairments which will interfere with proper operation of both the spinal cord stimulator as well as the exoskeleton;
    • subjects with an unhealed spinal fracture or unstable spine; and
    • subjects with known cardiac pathology which precludes safe participation

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT04105296

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Contact: Ashraf S Gorgey, PhD 8046755000 ext 3386
Contact: Robert Trainer, MD

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United States, Virginia
Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23249
Sponsors and Collaborators
McGuire Research Institute
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Principal Investigator: Ashraf S Gorgey, PhD Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
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Responsible Party: McGuire Research Institute Identifier: NCT04105296    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2501
First Posted: September 26, 2019    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 3, 2019
Last Verified: October 2019
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided
Plan Description: IPD will be available in the form of published case reports as well as scientific presentations in national and international meetings.

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: Yes
Device Product Not Approved or Cleared by U.S. FDA: Yes
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Spinal Cord Injuries
Wounds and Injuries
Spinal Cord Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Trauma, Nervous System