United Spinal Association is seeking patients with spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D), who use intermittent catheterization and experience frequent urinary symptoms, to participate in a study.

The study is in conjunction with researchers at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and Children’s National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC.

Per a media release from United Spinal Association, the hospital’s research team observed during a previous study that people with bladder dysfunction due to SCI/D had much less Lactobacillus (a “healthy” bacteria) in their urine, compared to those who did not have SCI/D.

“In response to this finding, we have decided to investigate whether Lactobacillus, when put back into the bladder, might have a role in controlling the growth of bacteria that cause urinary tract infection, which may limit urinary symptoms and possibly reduce the need for antibiotics,” explains Suzanne Groah, MD, MSPH, SCI researcher at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, in the release.

Lactobacillus, a probiotic naturally found in the body, has traditionally been used to aid digestive health. However, in this study, Lactobacillus will target bladder health, per the release.

The study will last 18 months, and will consist of three 6-month phases: completion of a weekly survey, completion of a weekly survey and Lactobacillus installation into the bladder when symptoms occur, and completion of a weekly survey.

Researchers hope that the information gleaned from this study will help them develop treatments that could help reduce urinary symptoms in SCI/D patients, and help them improve their health and quality of life, according to the release.

To participate in the study, contact Inger Ljungberg, MPH, at inger.h.ljungberg@medstar.net or by calling 202-877-1694.

[Source(s): United Spinal Association, PR Newswire]