R. James Cotton, MD, PhD, has been selected as the recipient of the American Neuromuscular Foundation’s (ANF) Clinical Research Fellowship to provide insights and answers about the safety and effectiveness of the neurological application of neurotoxins. The ANF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, and electrodiagnostic research and medicine. When you donate to the ANF, 100% of your gift is exclusively used to fund researchers like Dr. Cotton, or their education. This is made possible by the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM), which covers all of the ANF’s administrative costs.
Dr. Cotton’s research project is focused on spasticity, a common clinical problem that impacts people with some neurologic conditions, including stroke, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. Not only can spasticity be painful, but it can also reduce a person’s range of motion, making it more difficult for them to do many activities. It can also make it harder for caregivers to help the patient with tasks like putting on a shirt or jacket. The goal of Dr. Cotton’s research project is to develop an easy-to-use bedside tool to measure spasticity using wearable sensors.
“I will then use this to quantitatively track changes in spasticity as a result of neurotoxin treatment, and develop a predictive model for how well a muscle will respond to those injections,” said Dr. Cotton.
“Dr. Cotton is a highly intelligent, creative, and dynamic clinician-investigator, with an exceptionally strong drive to conduct research, and a unique desire to apply his knowledge and skill to neurorehabilitation,” said Elliot J. Roth, MD, the Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Dr. Cotton says receiving the ANF Clinical Research Fellowship will help him continue to pursue his passion for developing new technologies to help people with disabilities.
“The ANF grant will support me in extending this platform for the quantification of spasticity and how it responds to the neurotoxin injections,” Dr. Cotton said.
Dr. Cotton recently completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. He is a graduate of Baylor College of Medicine.