OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU researchers seek volunteers for spinal cord study

02/01/2002

CORVALLIS - Oregon State University researchers are seeking volunteers with paraplegia for a new study on the effects of aerobic exercise on persons who have had spinal cord injuries.

The study is supported by a grant from the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

The primary goal of the study is to create exercise guidelines for people with paraplegia, said Trish Manns, a researcher in OSU's Department of Exercise and Sport Science.

"Researchers have recently refined exercise guidelines for persons without disabilities," Manns said, "but the amount of exercise needed to optimize health benefits for persons with disabilities - especially paraplegia - is not known. Most spinal cord injuries occur in people who are between the ages of 18 and 30 years, so lifelong health promotion behaviors like exercise and physical activity are particularly important."

Volunteers for the study should have paraplegia, be at least 25 years old, and use a wheelchair as their primary mode of locomotion. Their spinal cord injury must have occurred at least three years ago.

Those who participate in the study will be asked to visit the OSU campus three times over a period of 3-6 weeks. During those visits, volunteers will be asked to exercise at a "comfortable intensity" using an arm cycle, Manns said.

Volunteers in the Portland area may set up their visits at Portland State University.

The study will be conducted from February through April. Persons interested in volunteering for the study should call Trish Manns at 541-737-5922, or e-mail her at: mannsp@onid.orst.edu

Volunteers will receive bone density, body composition and lipid profile analyses, a better understanding of their exercise capacity and health risk factors, and a small stipend.