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Longevity After Injury Project

What's New


On May 2015, Drs. Lee Saunders attended the 4th ISCoS and ASIA Joint Scientific Meeting in Montreal, Canada.  She present on "Prevalence of Cigarette Smoking and Attempts to Quit in a Population-based Cohort with Spinal Cord Injury".

Grand Rounds
On Tuesday, April 21th , Dr. Jonathan Wolpaw, Director of the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, presented on “Activity-Dependent Plasticity in the Spinal Cord: Theory and Therapy." --Slides--

On Thursday, April 24th , Dr. James Krause, Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Research in Neurological Conditions, Medical University of South Carolina, presented on “Successful Employment and Quality Work Life After MS: A Qualitative Study."
  For further details please visit our other website - Beyond 90 Days

We have lost two good friends and colleagues.

It is with great sadness that we report the loss of Sarah Lottes, who was the original research assistant on our SCI team dating back to 1993, and Dr. David Gray, one of the great leaders in the field of disability and a contributor to our Beyond 90 Days program. --More about Sara Lottes--  &  --More about David Gray-- On May 5, 2013 at Chicago, Illinois, David Gray spoke at the 39th Annual Pre-Course Meeting titled "The State of the Science of Prevention and Management of Secondary Health Conditions in Person after SCI". To hear his presentation, please click --Video--

Student Achievements
Dr. Nicole Dipiro, a graduate assistant since 2012, was successful in defending her dissertation project entitled "Effects of Aerobic Exercise Training on Walking and Health-Related Outcomes in Individuals with Chronic Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury". 


Dr. Krause has been invited to present at the annual conference of the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals in New Orleans on September 2015.  This is a great honor since the Essie Morgan Lecture is an invited lectureship awareded to persons who have made significant contributions to the advancement of social services for persons with spinal cord injury.

Fact Sheet

Our Health Outcome Research for Underserved People with SCI Project has created a factsheet with information pertaining to African Americans with SCI.  The factsheet illustrates the relationship between preventative behaviors and secondary health conditions.  It also mentions risk behaviors and chronic diseases common among African Americans with SCI.  Please visit the Health Outcome Research for Underserved People with SCI webpage underneath "Funded Projects" on the left side of this page.

Research Bytes

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Below are a few research bytes from our findings.

  • A mixed model was used to analyze the cross-sequential data that include cross-sectional and longitudinal elements. The data were collected in 1993, 1998, 2003, and 2008. This study aimed To identify changes in hospitalizations, days hospitalized, nonroutine physician visits, and self-reported fitness over 4 measurements separated by 4- to 5-year intervals among participants with spinal cord injury (SCI), while testing for the effects of age, time since injury, and age at injury onset.Results of the growth model indicated some limited cohort effects for chronologic age, years since injury, and age at injury onset at baseline. However, significant time effects were observed for each of the health indices, with hospitalizations and physician visits increasing and self-reported fitness decreasing. Significant cohort by time interactions were observed for both number of hospitalizations and days hospitalized with years postinjury and chronologic age. The natural course of change in the health indices was in the direction of a greater need for treatment and reduced fitness over time. (Krause, Cao, & Bozard; 2013)

May is also World No Tobacco Day. Below is a research byte from our findings.

  • A study asked 1,076 participants from a large rehabilitation hospital in the Southeastern United States about their smoking status after SCI. The study also focused on assessing relationships between smoking status with injury severity and alcohol/pain medication use. Of participants (72% male, M age = 49.6 years, M = 16.1 years since SCI), 49.2% had never smoked, 28.2% were former smokers, and 22.6% were current smokers. Of current smokers, 39.2% attempted quitting in the past year and 77.2% had ever tried to quit. Only 29.9% of those who ever tried to quit sought professional help. Ambulatory persons, regardless of injury level, were 2.32 times more likely to be current smokers than nonambulatory persons with a high-level cervical injury. Lower socioeconomic status, binge drinking, and misuse of pain medication all predicted current smoking. (Saunders, Krause, Carpenter, & Saladin; 2013)

May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. Below is a research byte from our findings.

  • A longitudinal cohort study was designed to describe rates of probable major depression and the development and improvement of depression and to test predictors of depression in a cohort of participants with spinal cord injury (SCI) assessed at 1 and 5 years after injury. Probable major depression was found in 21% of participants at year 1 and 18% at year 5. Similar numbers of participants had improvement (25%) or worsening (20%) of symptoms over time, with 8.7% depressed at both 1 and 5 years. Increased pain (odds ratio [OR], 1.10), worsening health status (OR, 1.39), and decreasing unsafe use of alcohol (vs no unsafe use of alcohol; OR, 2.95) are risk factors for the development of depression at 5 years. No predictors of improvement in depression were found. (Hoffman, Bombardier, Graves, Kalpakjian, & Krause; 2011)
  • A cohort of adults (N_927) with traumatic SCI participated in a study aimed to identify the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after spinal cord injury (SCI) in a sample averaging over 2 decades postinjury at assessment. PTSD was reported by less than 10% of the participants. Item endorsement decreased as a function of years postinjury, primarily because of low rates of endorsement among those 21 or more years postinjury. Confirmatory factor analysis did not result in an acceptable fit for subscales, item sets, or factors previously reported in the literature. Participants scored higher than a nonclinical sample (reported in the literature) on the arousal and avoidance subscales but lower on the re-experiencing subscale. Item endorsements were lower for the first set of items that relate directly to the SCI itself, with the highest item endorsement for “have difficulty remembering important aspects of event.” PTSD rarely occurred in the absence of a depressive disorder. (Krause, Saunders, & Newman; 2010)

The information posted on the MUSC: Longevity after Injury Project website is intended for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. --Further Details--


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