SCI Model System
The overarching goal of the Southern California Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SCIMS) at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (RLANRC) is to generate new knowledge that fosters recovery of function, community re-integration, and wellness throughout the lifetime of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). RLANRC is designated as the Patient-Centered Medical Home for SCI in Los Angeles County; providing services to a large underserved and minority population.
The objectives of our SCIMS will be achieved through four integrated categories of effort during the five years: 1) Comprehensive Service Delivery; 2) Participation in the National SCI Database; 3) Site-Specific Research; and 4) Collaborative Research Module(s). Our SCIMS partners include Emergency Medical Services, Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center and Harbor/UCLA Medical Center; treating a majority of the region’s trauma victims. We will capitalize on the team’s experience and comprehensiveness of the ORCHID electronic health records for data acquisition and entry into the National SCI Database. Our site-specific research will evaluate outcomes and sustainability of two programs for promotion of physical activity after SCI. Our collaborative research module will evaluate a sensor system for establishing effective pressure relief behaviors and reducing risk of pressure ulcer development among wheelchair users.
Anticipated outcomes include: 1) Increased knowledge about incidence, causes, and outcomes of traumatic SCI; 2) Evidence-based interventions and technologies that facilitate healthy behaviors in individuals with SCI; 3) Increase in practical, effective, and scientifically-informed knowledge and strategies for enhancing health, function, and well-being after SCI.
Expected products are peer-reviewed publications, factsheets, presentations, training materials, and guidelines for promoting physical activity and technology for motivating healthy behaviors after SCI.
A link to the pressure ulcer study details can be found here.
With generous support from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, Rancho Research Institute was able to launch the Photography as Therapy program. In this program, photography serves as a form of psychotherapy to improve the quality of life for individuals with spinal cord injury. Under the guidance of professional photographer, Michael Ziegler, our student photographers have learned a new set of skills and have grown in creative expression. The images photographed by our students are thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, and above all, thoroughly unique in their perspective. To learn more about our photographers and to see their work, please visit Photography as Therapy.
Lifestyle Redesign is an intervention that was introduced at Rancho to reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers and related surgical operations in individuals with spinal cord injury. In this study, the intervention’s influence on quality of life and its cost-effectiveness are explored.
Brain Computer Interface
Brain Computer Interface research aims to help individuals with paralysis operate external devices, computers, and/or robotic limbs by using the person’s own thoughts. Revolutionizing Prosthetics is a collaborative project between Rancho’s researchers and their partners at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California and the California Institute of Technology. This is a study that investigates the use of long-term implantable microelectrode arrays for brain machine interface control of a prosthetic robotic limb.
Neural Stem Cell
The objectives of this study are to assess the efficacy of cervical intramedullary transplantation of HuCNS-SC cells in ASIA subjects with cSCI and evaluate the safety of cervical intramedullary transportation of HuCNS-SC cells across all cohorts of the study.
Shoulder Health and Function
The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of two prevention programs for preserving shoulder function after spinal cord injury, a home-based shoulder exercise program combined with instructions to modify movement technique for upper extremity activities or an enhanced-interaction version with more direct contact, for exercise instruction and education.