The Spina Bifida Association is committed to identifying research gaps and facilitating support to develop evidence-based policy and clinical decisions. SBA also works to ensure that those living with Spina Bifida and their care givers are included in research studies. The following are open studies. We encourage our community to participate. If you have questions each study has contact information or you can contact the Spina Bifida Association National Resource Center at [email protected] or 1-800-621-3141, x. 800.¡HABLAMOS ESPAÑOL!


Spina Bifida Financial Toxicity Project, Duke University

Medical care can be very expensive. The excessive costs can cause financial problems for people leading to financial stress, hardship, and worry. This can even impact one’s mental and physical health. This concept is described by the term ‘Financial Toxicity.’ Unfortunately, there is no established way to measure Financial Toxicity. While it is easy to measure dollars and cents, it is difficult to measure stress, worries, and other emotions related to medical costs. That’s why we teamed up with Duke University to create a survey that attempts to capture and quantify these costs. The survey and the data collected from the survey will be used to help us advocate for the Spina Bifida community and better support you.

There are two versions of the survey – one for adults with Spina Bifida who financially support themselves and one for care partners who support a person with Spina Bifida. To participate in the survey, click here. At the first page, you will be asked to select the response category: person with Spina Bifida OR parent/guardian of person with Spina Bifida.

If you have questions about the Financial Toxicity Project, please contact Duke University Hospital Resident, Rafael Tua-Caraccia, at [email protected].


Genetic Investigation of Childhood Neurological Disorders, University of California, San Diego

The Gleeson Lab at UC San Diego is enrolling families in a neurogenetic study of Spina Bifida. With your help, we are hopeful that we can make great progress in understanding why some people are born with Spina Bifida. We are currently enrolling participants who meet all these criteria:

  • Diagnosed with Spina Bifida – Eligibility has been extended to include not only those with meningomyelocele but now includes those with meningocele, lipomeningocele, and terminal myelocystocele, all with and without hydrocephalus.
  • Have a VP shunt OR underwent surgery within a few days of birth
  • Participant and both biological parents are all willing and able to provide a saliva sample by mail (ok to have different addresses)
  • Participant can be of any age

This study involves answering a few questions about your medical history, and providing saliva samples by mail. From the saliva samples, we will collect DNA and compare DNA sequences within your family. This study can be completed at no cost to you, and your information will be kept completely private. Learn more about the study here – If you are interested in participating, please use this secure online form to initiate enrollment:

A member of the Gleeson Lab will get in touch with you by phone or email. If you would like to get more information first, you can visit our webpage ( or contact us at [email protected] or by phone at (858) 246-0547. We thank you for your interest in taking part in this important work!


Teenage Sexuality Study – Division of Pediatric Urology at Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University

If you are a teenager with Spina Bifida, you can help researchers at Riley Hospital for Children understand things about your sexuality and sexual health by taking part in an online study. The study is open to teens ages 14 to 17 only. All answers are confidential and will be kept private.  Learn more here –

Bladder Rehabilitation Research Training Center

MedStar’s Bladder Rehabilitation Research Training Center (RRTC) are national leaders in the research field of bladder dysfunction and urinary symptoms following nervous system injury. Located at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C., their team works collaboratively to investigate ways to produce positive patient outcomes. SBA is supporting the RRTC’s work by encouraging our community to look into and take part in two of their studies.
  • Research Project 3- Connected Catheter Quality of Life Study This study is for men who are 18 years and over, and also for caregivers of someone who has a neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction who has previously participated in a connected catheter study. If you are interested in or have questions about this study, please contact Mandy Rounds, PhD at [email protected] or 202-877-1591

Do you know the latest Bladder Rehab Buzz?   The Bladder Rehab Buzz newsletter is brought to you by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Washington, DC, in partnership with Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) in Washington , DC, and The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) Memorial Hermann in Houston, Texas. The newsletter was launched in 2020, and is issued twice a year.

Bladder Rehab Buzz – December 2021