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Mills, Patricia Branco - Write Up

2008 Round 1 International Award

Thanks to the DHRN Travel Grant, I was able to travel to Kissimmee, Florida in August 2008 to present at the 2008 Congress of Spinal Cord Medicine & Rehabilitation.  I was invited to present my research, entitled “Influence of the level and severity of spinal cord injury on cardiovascular control in humans: a systematic review”, at the podium for fifteen minutes, after which there was a question and answer period.  There were many physicians in attendance, and much interest was expressed in the results which add to the current body of knowledge regarding how heart rate and blood pressure are affected following spinal cord injury.  Our research confirms that individuals with SCI affecting the cervical and upper thoracic segments are more susceptible to disruption of their sympathetic autonomic nervous system than those with injury to their low thoracic and lumbar segments, and in comparison to those with intact spinal cords.   The session during which I presented was dedicated to autonomic function after spinal cord injury, and my research supervisor, Dr Andrei Krassioukov, was  the moderator.  Perhaps as a reflection of our strong research base in Canada, my fellow presenters were also from British Columbia, and I am grateful to DHRN for the opportunity to help raise international awareness of our research efforts towards improving our understanding and care of individuals with disabilities.  

Conference:  International Spinal Cord Society, Florence, Italy
2009 Round 2 International Award

In the month of October 2009, due to funding by DHRN through the Travel Grant, I was able to attend an illustrious european international meeting on spinal cord injury (SCI) hosted by ISCoS (International Spinal Cord Society). Attracting both researchers and clinicians from around the globe, the 48th meeting of ISCoS was held in Florence, and this afforded me the added opportunity to explore the sights and sounds of Italy.  My poster entitled “Influence of the level and severity of spinal cord injury on cardiovascular control in humans: a Meta-analysis”, was accepted for presentation.  Our results confirm that individuals with SCI affecting the cervical and upper thoracic segments are more susceptible to autonomic dysfunction than those with injury to their low thoracic and lumbar segment, and describes meta-analytically obtained averages of cardiovascular parameters based on level of injury.  These results can be used to guide research protocols as well as clinical management of individuals with SCI.   Thanks to the DHRN Travel Grant, I was able to present my results to an international audience, as well as further my professional goals of collaborating with physicians from other countries in improving our understanding and care of individuals with disabilities. Thank you DHRN!

Abstract

International Award Winners: Ramer, L., Simonette, G., Yiu, J., Zwicker, J., Chen, S.,  Faradaji, F., Gaudet, A., Hewapathirane, S., Inskip, J., Mikhail, D. 
National Award Winners: Beirnes, K., Bundon, A., Hume, A., Lige, S., Schiarti, V.

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