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Spinal Cord and Musculoskeletal Disorders and Assistive Devices (SMAD) Program

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Spinal cord injury (SCI) and musculoskeletal disorders are a major cause of acute and chronic disability in the United States. SCI not only impacts motor and sensory functions, but is also a major factor in secondary conditions, such as bone loss, obesity, muscle atrophy, pressure ulcers, bladder and bowel disorders, and pain in addition to psychological and psychosocial conditions.

Musculoskeletal disorders include a variety of conditions, such as, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, total hip and knee replacements, and low back pain. Certain aspects of cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke and muscular dystrophy may also fall into this Program area. In addition, this Program area also addresses research on mobility limitations that result from a variety of causes.

Like the Behavioral Sciences and Rehabilitation Engineering Technologies Program, a large portion of this Program's activities focus on developing and supporting the application of assistive devices to improve the human-environment interface and to restore or enhance an individual's capacity to function in his or her environment. This type of applied research and rehabilitation technology includes, but is not limited to, prosthetics, wheelchairs, biomechanical modeling, and other topics that aim to enhance mobility, communication, cognition, and environmental control.

Select a link below to learn more about the SMAD Program's activities:

Selected SCI and Musculoskeletal Disorders Research Projects
Selected Assistive Device Projects ​​​​​​

Selected SCI and Musculoskeletal Disorders Research Projects

Selected Assistive Device Projects

Last Updated Date: 07/22/2015
Last Reviewed Date: 07/22/2015

Contact Information

Name: Dr Theresa Cruz
Health Specialist
Spinal Cord and Musculoskeletal Disorders and Assistive Devices Program
Phone: 301-496-9233
Email: cruzth@mail.nih.gov

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