12 – Reducing muscle fatigue induced by Functional Electrical Stimulation in Spinal Cord Injury: a pilot study

Preparing for a clinical trial of SLARSI

University College London, Award: £44,000, Date of Award: 17 Sep 04

The Sacral Anterior Nerve Root Stimulator is the well-established method for restoring bladder function after complete spinal cord lesion. We have shown that Lumbar root stimulation can be used for exercising all the paralysed leg muscles, and may be used for cycling. We are developing an implant for sacral and lumbar root stimulation with the primary purpose of bladder/bowel function but also for leg exercise and possible recreational cycling. The aim for this application is to prepare for a clinical trial.

As at the beginning of 2007, there has been a difficulty in recruiting volunteers for SLARSI so the team is working at present on an implant inspired by Mike Craggs (Stanmore) which, if successful, will restore urinary continence and bladder emptying (and more) without a rhizotomy. To do this requires a rechargeable battery, a means to recharge it, a 2-way radio link, but it is perceived to be more complicated than SARSI and SLARSI.

This project is on hold until a decision has been taken as to which system should be adopted.