LOUISVILLE, Ky., — University of Louisville researcher Lynnette Montgomery, Ph.D., has received the 2015 Fritz Krauth Memorial Fellowship Award from the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), for submitting the top scholarship application to the organization for the year. Earlier this year, Montgomery was awarded a two-year, $100,000 scholarship from the PVA for research she is conducting in the lab of Charles Hubscher, Ph.D., in the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology.
Montgomery, one of eight researchers who received grants from the PVA Research Foundation in 2015, is studying how activity-based rehabilitation can improve bladder function after spinal cord injury (SCI). Often, following SCI, the bladder produces excessive urine, a condition known as polyuria. This can lead to a high number of catheterizations, each of which increases the possibility of urinary complications.
Preliminary work in Hubscher’s lab has shown that the hormone vasopressin decreases following spinal cord injury, causing an increase in the production of urine. Montgomery is working with rodent models to understand the mechanisms behind vasopressin reduction and hopes to determine whether exercise and medication aimed at increasing vasopressin levels will alleviate polyuria following SCI.
“It’s an exciting area of research and it is very under studied,” Montgomery said. “Bladder control is one of the top quality-of-life issues for spinal cord injury patients. If a patient has to use a catheter four times a day instead of six, or is able to sleep through the night instead of waking for catheterization, it makes a big difference in quality of life.”
The Krauth Fellowship is named for Fritz Krauth, a Navy veteran who incurred a spinal cord injury as a naval aviator. Prior to his death in 2002, Krauth provided a gift to PVA to support research initiatives through the PVA Research Foundation. The foundation provides grants that will lead to improved understanding and treatment of spinal cord injury and disease. The researcher submitting the top fellowship application to the PVA each year is honored with the Fritz Krauth Memorial Fellowship Award.
“Paralyzed Veterans of America is dedicated to advancing research for spinal cord injury and dysfunction and supporting leading medical experts such as Dr. Montgomery. Her breakthrough findings will improve the life of veterans and every person living with SCI. It will also ensure they have the means to pursue a life undefined by disability,” said Sherman Gillums, Jr., deputy executive director of PVA.
A native of Australia, Montgomery came to the University of Louisville in 2013 to join Hubscher’s lab. Hubscher was recently awarded continued funding from the Department of Defense.
“The translational research studies being conducted in our laboratory address the areas of highest priority and utmost importance for the spinal cord injured population, bladder and sexual function,” Hubscher said. “The award from the Paralyzed Veterans of America and continued funding from the Department of Defense will allow us to address multiple questions regarding potential underlying mechanisms for the benefits of activity-based rehabilitation on urogenital function after spinal cord injury.”
About Paralyzed Veterans of America
Paralyzed Veterans of America is a congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For nearly 70 years, PVA has ensured that veterans have received the benefits earned through their service to our nation, monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis. In addition, PVA develops career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings, provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation, and advocates for veterans and all people with disabilities.