Eric D. Crown

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BACKGROUND Safe and effective treatment for chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain remains a key unmet medical need for many patients. The recent discovery and description of the transient receptor potential family of receptors including TRPV1 and TRPA1 has provided a number of potential new therapeutic targets for treating chronic pain. Recent reports(More)
Spinal plasticity is known to play a role in central neurogenic pain. Over the last 100 years researchers have found that the spinal cord is also capable of supporting other forms of plasticity including several forms of learning. To study instrumental (response-outcome) learning in the spinal cord, we use a preparation in which spinally transected rats are(More)
Spinalized rats given shock whenever 1 hind leg is extended learn to maintain that leg in a flexed position, a simple form of instrumental learning. Rats given shock independent of leg position do not exhibit an increase in flexion duration. Experiment 1 showed that 6 min of intermittent legshock can produce this deficit. Intermittent tailshock undermines(More)
Not all spinal contusions result in mechanical allodynia, in which non-noxious stimuli become noxious. The studies presented use the NYU impactor at 12.5 mm drop or the Infinite Horizons Impactor (150 kdyn, 1 s dwell) devices to model spinal cord injury (SCI). Both of these devices and injury parameters, if done correctly, will result in animals with above(More)
We have shown that spinal cord neurons can support a simple form of instrumental learning. In a typical experiment, rats are spinalized at the second thoracic vertebra (T(2)) and given shock to one hindleg. One group (master) receives shock whenever the leg is extended. This response-contingent shock causes an increase in response duration that decreases(More)
Although recovery from spinal cord injury is generally meager, evidence suggests that step training can improve stepping performance, particularly after neonatal spinal injury. The location and nature of the changes in neural substrates underlying the behavioral improvements are not well understood. We examined the kinematics of stepping performance and(More)
Prior studies have shown that neurons within the spinal cord are sensitive to response-outcome relations, a form of instrumental learning. Spinally transected rats that receive shock to one hind leg learn to maintain the leg in a flexed position that minimizes net shock exposure (controllable shock). Prior exposure to uncontrollable stimulation(More)
Rats spinally transected at the second thoracic vertebra can learn to maintain their leg in a flexed position if they receive legshock for extending the limb. These rats display an increase in the duration of a flexion response that minimizes net shock exposure. The current set of experiments was designed to determine whether the acquisition of this(More)
We have previously shown that the spinal cord is capable of learning a sensorimotor task in the absence of supraspinal input. Given the action of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on hippocampal learning, the current studies examined the role of BDNF in spinal learning. BDNF is a strong synaptic facilitator and, in association with other molecular(More)
Spinal cord fMRI is a useful tool for studying spinal mechanisms of pain, hence for analgesic drug development. Its technical feasibility in both humans and rats has been demonstrated. This study investigates the reproducibility, robustness, and spatial accuracy of fMRI of lumbar spinal cord activation due to transcutaneous noxious and non-noxious(More)