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Reticulospinal pathways in the ventrolateral funiculus with terminations in the cervical and lumbar enlargements of the adult rat spinal cord.

AUTHORS: William Reed, D.C., Ph.D., Davenport ’93, (PCCR); Alice Shum-Siu; and David S. Magnuson, Ph.D.

The late Dr. Harris at the dedication of the William and Jo Harris Building which houses the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research on the Davenport Campus.
Dr. Harris at podium on lawn

Identification and understanding the role different kinds of neurons and neuronal pathways have on postural control is one way basic science research can impact clinical practice. In the mammalian spinal cord, the anterior-lateral quadrant of the spinal cord has been identified as critical to postural control and locomotor function. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the distribution of neurons in the brainstem labeled by discretely injecting a blue neuronal tracer (Fluoro-Gold; FG) into the right thoracic (T9) spinal cord and a red neuronal tracer (Fluoro-Ruby; FR) into the gray matter of the lumbar (L2) or cervical (C5/6, C7/8) spinal cord segments in the rat. Both of these neuronal tracers travel backwards from their injection site to label the neuronal cell body. Double-labeled (blue + red = pink) brainstem neurons were found primarily in the medial portion of the brainstem (the gigantocellular nuclei) bilaterally. This indicates populations of ipsilateral (same-side) and commissural (cross-over) long descending neurons. Two different populations of commissural neurons are described, one with axons that cross the midline rostral to T9, and one with axons that cross the midline caudal to T9. These observations provide additional evidence for a pattern of long descending brainstem projections that include substantial numbers of neurons that cross the midline of the spinal cord at multiple cervical and thoracolumbar levels.

The full article of this abstract was published in Neuroscience, 2008 Jan. 24, Volume 151, Number 2, pages 505-517.

Recruitment and enrollment for the simultaneous conduct of 2 randomized controlled trials for patients with subacute and chronic low back pain at a CAM Research Center

AUTHORS: Maria Hondras, D.C.; Cynthia Long, Ph.D.; Andrea Haan, D.C., M.S.; Lori Byrd-Spencer; William Meeker, D.C., West ’82; (all of whom work at Palmer College of Chiropractic.)

Recruiting participants for randomized controlled trials is a challenge common to many areas of study. Many factors must be considered when developing the recruitment strategy for a trial. This manuscript describes the recruitment and enrollment experiences of 2 low back pain (LBP) randomized controlled trials at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research. Both trials enrolled participants with subacute or chronic LBP. We conducted 3,789 telephone screens for both trials to enroll 432 (11%) participants, at a cost in excess of $156,000 for recruitment efforts. The cost per call for all callers averaged $41, ranging from $4 to $300 based on recruitment method; for enrolled participants, the cost per call was $361, ranging from $33 to $750. The costs associated with recruitment efforts for studies conducted at chiropractic institutions may be higher than expected. Therefore, strategies for efficient recruitment methods and targeting nonusers of chiropractic therapies should be developed early for chiropractic trials.

The full article of this abstract was published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Volume 14, Issue 8, 2008, pages 983-992.

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