There are many Centers throughout the country conducting important research in the area of central nervous system disorders and trauma - but none to our knowledge, has championed more than one new therapy for spinal cord or brain injury. Even the most famous university institutes have not produced a single commercialized product. In this regard, the Center for Paralysis (CPR) research has an unprecedented and unmatched record of such human clinical development. Since its inception, the CPR has been involved in three human clinical trials (including multiple canine trials) as well as having one therapy being sold and marketed for multiple sclerosis patients. This history of translational research is unique and underscores our commitment to improving quality of life for both animals and humans.
The mission of the Center for Paralysis Research is to improve quality of life by developing clinical therapies for injury and diseases of the human nervous system.
The CPR is strictly a research group. However, we often engage in clinical trials (animal and human –please see News section for any latest information). For those living with pre-existing neurologic conditions from damage to the central nervous system, we offer suggestions to the following links:
Research Philosophy and Guiding Principles of the Center:
The pathophysiological processes that are incurred via injury or disease states is complex and time dependent. It is unlikely that a single medical treatment is going to reverse the horrible loss of function that accompanies damage and diseases of the central nervous system. History has taught us that there is no one treatment can completely rectify the significant neurologic consequences from CNS trauma or disease. The biological and medical problems are intertwined, sharing some facets, not sharing others. It will take a multi-task therapy to eventually succeed - somewhat tailored to the individual character of the medical problem at hand. As a result, the Center takes a more holistic approach in its research philosophy. We call them the three “R’s” of Repair, Restore and Regenerate.
- Repair: To repair damaged or protect spared tissues that have been subjected to insult.
- Restore: To restore functional loss caused by compromised tissue.
- Regenerate: To regenerate or regrow tissues that have been lost.
The focus of our Center is the improvement of Quality of Life rather than a “cure”. It is time to discard completely the word “cure”. There will most likely not be a “cure” as meant in our common speech - as we all understand the word to mean. We are not being pessimistic - just realistic as we are quite far from unraveling the biological mysteries of the CNS. Nonetheless, the Center takes great pride in developing translational approaches to mitigate the effects of CNS injury. As a leader in this area, we understand and accept the role that we, as discoverers and researchers, are responsible to see our discoveries through their first human trial. We don’t leave this task for others. Likewise, we use naturally injured dog as a model for clinical treatments within the veterinary hospital setting, in concert with human medical teams prior to moving promising therapies towards FDA approval. This is an integral aspect of the Center is quite unique in comparison to other laboratories and centers worldwide.