How to Sign Up for an Epidural Stimulation Trial

The possibility of one day curing spinal cord injuries is much brighter thanks to the discovery of epidural stimulation. Discovered by Dr. Susan Harkema of the University of Louisville less than 10 years ago, her first participant was an ex-college baseball player named Rob Summers who showed the world in 2015 that he could stand because of the treatment.

Fast-forward to 2018, trials using epidural stimulation to treat spinal cord injury are popping up everywhere, as well as clinics claiming to provide it. While these clinics are out of the country and are unable to guarantee results, the fact that there are human trials happening right now in the US proves there is something to this treatment.

You can't simply call up your doctor and ask to get involved in a trial. It's up to you to do the research and find a trial closest to you. Your doctor likely won’t know. After you find a trial that you can travel to and are eligible for, your next step is to apply. Fortunately, applying is relatively easy since you can do most of it online. The hard part is prepping for the trial if you are chosen, but let’s not worry about that for now.

We have researched the most reputable epidural stimulation trials for people with spinal cord injuries in the US. Read on to see which ones you must know about.

Mayo Clinic SCI Epidural Stimulation Trial

The spinal cord injury epidural stimulation trial currently happening at the Mayo Clinic is one of the most encouraging in the US. It began a little less than four years ago, and the doctors involved (Dr. Lee) were surprised at the results. They essentially copied what Dr. Susan Harkema and her team were able to do (who did it with assistance from Reggie Edgerton at the University of California). They were able to replicate the results. For a clinical trial, this is huge. They are currently recruiting for their ongoing trial that has seen encouraging results. They have locations in both Minnesota and Arizona.


An epidural stimulation trial by the University of Minnesota, the E-STAND trial is seeking participants to see if epidural stimulation can help recover lower extremity movement. This study is being funded in part by the Minneapolis VA and has several criteria that you must meet in order to be eligible. There's also an online pre-screen survey you can take that will help researchers determine if you are eligible.

Victory Over Paralysis Trials

Officially part of the University of Louisville Kentucky SCI Research Program led by Dr. Harkema, the Victory Over Paralysis Spinal Cord Injury Research Center is dedicated to helping find therapies to cure spinal cord injury and one of their biggest areas of study is epidural stimulation. They offer several studies you can apply for, but their epidural stimulation trial is the one you will you want. You'll need to register an account with them in order to send them your information.

These are the three biggest epidural stimulation trials currently happening in the US, but there are several more trials you can also apply to as well. To keep up-to-date on the latest trials available for people spinal cord injuries, make sure to bookmark CenterWatch and their Spinal Cord Injury Trials section.


Topics: Technology & Advancements, Treatment, Advice & Tips

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