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Nader Zamani's poster wins first place.

Undergrad student Nader Zamani's and Dr. Adam Thrasher's poster won the first place in the 8th Annual Houston Premedical Academy Research Symposium, January 30, 2008, Houston, TX. The poster was titled "Reducing the risk of pressure ulcers in spinal cord injured individuals using neuromuscular electrical stimulation."

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Nader Zamani(left) and Dr. Adam Thrasher

Here is an abstract of the paper:

Pressure ulcers following spinal cord injury are often connected with infection, rehospitalization, and death. Such sores are caused by prolonged, localized pressure that occludes blood flow and deprives the tissues of oxygen. The most common site of pressure ulcers is under the bony protuberances of the pelvis where pressure is concentrated during sitting. Since regular muscle contraction is linked to reductions in sitting pressure in able-bodied individuals, this study hypothesizes that surface electrical stimulation of the gluteal muscles will similarly show a decrease in the sitting pressure of spinal cord injured patients who are at high risk for ulcers. By examining the pressure profile of the sitting surface with the use of a body pressure measurement system placed between the participant and the cushion, data will be sampled and recorded on a data acquisition computer. Data will be collected for a 60-minute trial in which there will be three distinct collection phases: 1) no muscular stimulation, 2) stimulation of the gluteal muscles applied cyclically in 5-second intervals, and 3) no applied muscular stimulation. The primary outcome variable is the mean peak pressure calculated over each of the three periods. Since preliminary data on able-bodied subjects indicates a positive correlation between peak sitting pressure and time, it is expected that a similarly positive trend will be exhibited in spinal cord injured patients with a decreased correlation during the time in which stimulation is applied. With such findings, the intention of this study is ultimately to establish the feasibility of a new technique of preventing pressure ulcers in chronic spinal cord injured patients with the development of a novel, non-invasive technology.