Students: Kyle Mayr
Type of Project: Basic, Translational, Nutraceutical
Grant Type: Masters
Year of Award: 2016
Supervisor: Dr. Patrick Whelan
Institutions Affiliated: University of Calgary
Background: Spinal cord injury is generally treated with physical therapy, but can be associated with neuropathic pain and limited the desire of a patient to want to pursue physical therapy. While this is usually managed with opiod drugs, a ketogenic diet might offer a natural alternative to managing neuropathic pain and in turn reduce this barrier to physical therapy. This study seeks to evaluate whether a ketogenic diet will alleviate pain in an animal model of spinal cord injury and see if the diet has any additional direct benefit to spinal cord injury.
Impact: The primary impact of this study would be to move testing a ketogenic diet on neuropathic pain on spinal cord injury in humans. Additionally, this study supports a growing amount of evidence that a ketogenic diet can be a powerful clinical intervention for managing inflammation and neuropathic pain.