Last Update: 08/07/2008 Printer Friendly Printer Friendly   Email This Page Email This Page  

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

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 multiple sclerosis, arthritis, osteoporosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Certain aspects of cerebral palsy 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, including amputation and burns.

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 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 it not limited to, prosthetics, wheelchairs, biomechanical modeling, and other topics that aim to enhance mobility, communication, cognition, and environmental control.


Through its many grant mechanisms, the NCMRR supports researchers whose work advances the mission and goals of the Center. Some of this supported research is described below. You can view an abstract of the research project in the CRISP database by searching for the project grant number. Please note that the NCMRR does not endorse these products, nor does it endorse the companies who develop and sell the products.

Contact: Nancy Shinowara, Ph.D.