SEMINAR: Effects of task-specific training and spinal cord epidural stimulation on bladder function after human spinal cord injury

April Herrity, D.C., Ph.D
When Jan 23, 2019
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where Shumaker Research Building, Rm 139
Contact Name
Contact Phone 502-852-7485
Add event to calendarvCal


One of the major challenges impacting overall health and quality of life following spinal cord injury is the development of lower urinary tract dysfunction. Standard means of managing bladder dysfunction post-injury commonly includes a combination of catheterization and pharmacological approaches. While these measures may be necessary to manage the bladder after a spinal cord injury, they do not address the capacity of the nervous system to recover bladder function over time and are also associated with numerous side effects that can deteriorate the overall urinary system. We have previously found that locomotor training significantly improved bladder parameters in a rodent model of spinal cord injury. Thus, our goal was to investigate the effects of a standardized locomotor training program on urological function after chronic human spinal cord injury. Given the overlap of neural networks controlling bladder and locomotor function in the lumbosacral spinal cord, an interaction between these circuitries may be expected. Furthermore, spinal cord epidural stimulation mapping experiments currently in progress are helping us to identify specific configurations and stimulation parameters optimal for improving both continence and voiding.

Speaker--April Herrity, D.C., Ph.D.

Dr. Herrity is an Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville in the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Department of Neurosurgery. Her research background and interests have focused on understanding the neural mechanisms involved in controlling urogenital and bowel function after neurologic injury. Her work spans across adult and pediatric studies as well as includes complementary animal model approaches to explore mechanistic outcomes.
Currently, Dr. Herrity has been studying the use of spinal cord epidural stimulation to specifically target the bladder with the goal of identifying optimal stimulation parameters that promote functional gains in lower urinary tract function.