Common manifestations of many neurodegenerative conditions include pain and sensory abnormalities. Accumulating evidence suggests that injury or disease-induced neurodegeneration and pain share similar mechanisms. Outside of the primary trauma produced, spinal cord injury results in secondary neurodegeneration within the cord itself as well as in the periphery. Our lab focuses primarily on how these changes contribute to sensory complications and chronic pain syndromes associated with spinal cord injury and disease.
We are currently working to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which a central injury leads to peripheral nerve degeneration, determine the sensory manifestations of these degenerative processes, and explore therapeutic interventions that may prevent the loss of peripheral nerve fibers after spinal cord injury.