We find that blood flow is permanentlyimpaired in the spinal cord after injury, and treatments that improve blood flow dramatically improve recovery of motor function. Li et al. 2017, Nature Medicine. Pericytes play a major role in controlling this impaired blood flow. Targeting pericytes for treatment could lead to reduced infammation and less loss of neurons and function after spinal cord injury.
We also study how neurotransmitters and their precursors cross the blood-brain barrier and influence blood flow and recovery of function after spinal cord injury.