Most individuals living with SCI experience metabolic dysfunction such as insulin resistance, gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction such as impaired GI motility, and neurogenic bowel dysfunction. Accumulating evidence derived from our studies in individuals with SCI and past work from animal SCI research revealed a potential link between gut microbiome composition and metabolic, GI, and bowel function. Therefore, we propose to determine the changes in gut microbiome composition among individuals with traumatic SCI at baseline (the time of first stool sample after injury) and at months 1-12 after injury. In addition, we will examine the role of gut motility and microbiome composition on gut-derived metabolites, inflammatory state, metabolic function, and bowel function.
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