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Why Research Matters

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Building research collaboration and consumer engagement, to improve the lives of people with spinal cord injury


I know the huge difference the
right research can make to people’s
well-being and quality of life

- Associate Professor Doug Brown
Co-Founder Spinal Research Institute

Doctors using computer

Why research collaboration is so vital

The Spinal Research Institute is dedicated to improving the lives of people with spinal cord injuries.

People with spinal cord injury face many challenging secondary health complications that diminish quality of life and capacity for independence. By building global collaboration in spinal cord research and clinical trials we aim to reduce the length of time it takes to achieve significant and translatable research outcomes.

Learn more about spinal cord injury and the importance of research

What is a spinal cord injury?

Spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord that causes a temporary or permanent change in function.

In most cases, paralysis is caused by acute damage to the spinal cord following a traumatic injury. Nerve fibres are disrupted and nerve cells at, and around, the site of injury are destroyed.

An injury of the spinal cord not only impacts the ability to move your limbs; the damage also causes a large number of secondary health complications.

Learn more about spinal cord injury and the importance of research

Lady in wheelchair talking to boy

More than being paralysed

Living with a spinal cord injury is much more than being paralysed

People with spinal cord injury face many challenging secondary health complications that diminish quality of life and capacity for independence.

Secondary health implications may include:

  • Loss of control of bladder and bowel function
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Dysfunctional blood pressure
  • Sexual Health complications
  • Lung problems
  • Bone and joint problems
  • Psychological challenges, and vocation
  • Loss of deep sensation necessary to prevent pressure sores

Social marginalisation may include:

  • Inaccessible public spaces, housing, and workplaces
  • Social and cultural barriers which limit opportunities for community participation on an equal basis with other citizens

Learn more about spinal cord injury and the importance of research

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Latest News

Spinal Research Institute celebrates 10 year anniversary

After what was an immensely challenging year for everyone in 2020, we’re excited by our plans for this new year as we celebrate our 10th anniversary.

Read moreJanuary 2021

Why Research Matters – a collection of spinal cord research

Why Research Matters: A collection of spinal cord research from around the world is a compilation of the top-12 entries from the Spinal Research Institute’s (SRI) inaugural Spinal Cord Injury Research Writing Prize. We were thrilled with the large number of submissions received, from across 14 countries and a wide range of research interest areas.

Read moreDecember 2020

In Conversation with the SRI – video series

The In Conversation series that was launched in June has been very popular. COVID-19 has greatly impacted on our health, wellbeing and way-of-life, and it has been critical to connect with our supporters online. This video series has captured fascinating stories and perspectives from the remarkable people we know and work with.

Read moreNovember 2020

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