Sarah A. Woller

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Rats with complete spinal transections are capable of acquiring a simple instrumentally trained response. If rats receive shock to one hind limb when the limb is extended (controllable shock), the spinal cord will learn to hold the leg in a flexed position that minimizes shock exposure. If shock is delivered irrespective of leg position, subjects do not(More)
Prior work has shown that a high dose (20 mg/kg) of systemic morphine, required to produce significant analgesia in the acute phase of a contusion injury, undermines the long-term health of treated subjects and increases lesion size. Moreover, a single dose of systemic morphine in the early stage of injury (24 h post-injury) led to symptoms of neuropathic(More)
Morphine is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of chronic pain after a spinal cord injury (SCI). Despite widespread use, however, little is known about the secondary consequences of morphine use after SCI. Unfortunately, our previous studies show that administration of a single dose of morphine, in the acute phase of a(More)
Intermittent nociceptive stimulation following a complete transection or contused spinal cord injury (SCI) has been shown to exert several short- and long-lasting negative consequences. These include maladaptive spinal plasticity, enhanced mechanical allodynia, and impaired functional recovery of locomotor and bladder functions. The neurotrophin,(More)
Spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to increased anxiety and depression in as many as 60% of patients. Yet, despite extensive clinical research focused on understanding the variables influencing psychological well-being following SCI, risk factors that decrease it remain unclear. We hypothesized that excitation of the immune system, inherent to SCI, may(More)
Study design:This was designed as an experimental study.Objectives:Locomotor training is one of the most effective strategies currently available for facilitating recovery of function after an incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). However, there is still controversy regarding the timing of treatment initiation for maximal recovery benefits. To address this(More)
Nociceptive plasticity and central sensitization within the spinal cord depend on neurobiological mechanisms implicated in learning and memory in higher neural systems, suggesting that the factors that impact brain-mediated learning and memory could modulate how stimulation affects spinal systems. One such factor is temporal regularity (predictability). The(More)
Opioid analgesics are among the most effective agents for treatment of moderate to severe pain. However, the use of morphine after a spinal cord injury (SCI) can potentiate the development of paradoxical pain symptoms, and continuous administration can lead to dependence, tolerance, and addiction. Although some studies suggest that the addictive potential(More)
The management of the pain state is of great therapeutic relevance to virtually every medical specialty. Failure to manage its expression has deleterious consequence to the well-being of the organism. An understanding of the complex biology of the mechanisms underlying the processing of nociceptive information provides an important pathway towards(More)
Uncontrollable nociceptive stimulation adversely affects recovery in spinally contused rats. Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in altered microRNA (miRNA) expression both at, and distal to the lesion site. We hypothesized that uncontrollable nociception further influences SCI-sensitive miRNAs and associated gene targets, potentially explaining the(More)