University of Louisville

Poster Title

Step Training Alleviates Bladder Dysfunction in Spinal Cord Injured Rats

Institution

University of Louisville

Abstract

Patients with spinal cord injuries experience various types of dysfunction, including impaired mobility and bladder dysfunction. Therapies for spinal cord injury patients include physical therapy to improve mobility, but to address bladder dysfunction patients often must be catheterized, which can lead to complications such as bladder obstruction and kidney infection. We examined the effects of step training on bladder function in spinal cord injured male rats. The rats were divided into forelimb-trained, quadrupedal-trained, and non-trained groups. Metabolic cages were used to track the rats’ fluid intake and urine output. This data was recorded every week throughout the course of a nine-week period of step training. Training of any kind showed a trend toward a return to pre-injury levels of void efficiency and mean urine volume in a 24-hour period. This suggests that physical therapy including step training alleviates spinal cord injury-related bladder dysfunction. Thus, physical therapies for spinal cord injury patients can be designed such that bladder function is improved through step training, reducing the need for catheterization.

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Step Training Alleviates Bladder Dysfunction in Spinal Cord Injured Rats

Patients with spinal cord injuries experience various types of dysfunction, including impaired mobility and bladder dysfunction. Therapies for spinal cord injury patients include physical therapy to improve mobility, but to address bladder dysfunction patients often must be catheterized, which can lead to complications such as bladder obstruction and kidney infection. We examined the effects of step training on bladder function in spinal cord injured male rats. The rats were divided into forelimb-trained, quadrupedal-trained, and non-trained groups. Metabolic cages were used to track the rats’ fluid intake and urine output. This data was recorded every week throughout the course of a nine-week period of step training. Training of any kind showed a trend toward a return to pre-injury levels of void efficiency and mean urine volume in a 24-hour period. This suggests that physical therapy including step training alleviates spinal cord injury-related bladder dysfunction. Thus, physical therapies for spinal cord injury patients can be designed such that bladder function is improved through step training, reducing the need for catheterization.