Characterization of physiological changes induced through motor-evoked potential conditioning in people with spinal cord injury Save

Date Added
December 3rd, 2019
PRO Number
Pro00091457
Researcher
Aiko Thompson

List of Studies

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Keywords
Central Nervous System, Nervous System, Rehabilitation Studies, Spinal Cord
Summary

We are currently recruiting volunteers who are interested in participating in a brain-spinal cord-muscle response training study that aims to better understand the changes that take place in the nervous system as a result of this type of training. After spinal cord injury, brain-to-muscle connections are often interrupted. Because these connections are important in movement control, when they are not working well, movements may be disturbed. Researchers have found that people can learn to strengthen these connections through training. Strengthening these connections may be able to improve movement control and recovery after injuries.

Research participants will be asked to stand, sit, and walk during the study sessions. Electrodes are placed on the skin over leg muscles for monitoring muscle activity. For examining brain-to-muscle connections, we use transcranial magnetic stimulation. The stimulation is applied over the head and will indirectly stimulate brain cells with little or no discomfort.

Participation in this study requires approximately three sessions per week for four months, followed by two to three sessions over another three months. Each session lasts approximately 1 hour. Participants will receive a mileage reimbursement.

Institution
MUSC
Recruitment Contact
Blair Dellenbach
843-792-6313
stecb@musc.edu

Operant down-conditioning of the soleus H-reflex in spastic hemiparesis after stroke Save

Date Added
October 6th, 2015
PRO Number
Pro00048307
Researcher
Aiko Thompson

List of Studies

Silhouette
Keywords
Nervous System, Rehabilitation Studies, Stroke
Summary

Reflexes are important parts of our movements. When reflexes are not working well, movements are clumsy or even impossible. After stroke, reflex responses may change. Researchers have found that people can learn to increase or decrease a reflex response with training. Recently, we have found that rats and people with partial spinal cord injuries can walk better after they are trained to change a spinal cord reflex. Thus, learning to change a reflex response may help people recover after a nervous system injury. In this study, we aim to examine whether learning to change a spinal reflex through operant conditioning training can improve movement function recovery in people after stroke or other damage to the nervous system.

Institution
MUSC
Recruitment Contact
Christina Gill
843-792-6313
thompchr@musc.edu

Operant Conditioning of Spinal Reflexes in Youth Save

Date Added
August 4th, 2015
PRO Number
Pro00046453
Researcher
Aiko Thompson

List of Studies

Silhouette
Keywords
Nervous System, Rehabilitation Studies, Spinal Cord
Summary

Reflexes are important parts of our movements. When reflexes are not working well, movements are clumsy or even impossible. Researchers have found that people can learn to increase or decrease a reflex response with training. Recently, we have found that rats with spinal cord injuries can walk better after they are trained to change a spinal cord reflex. Thus, learning to change a reflex response may help people recover after a nervous system injury. We are currently studying effects of spinal cord reflex training (e.g., a knee jerk reflex) in people in early adulthood. We hope that the results of this study will help us develop spinal reflex training as a new treatment to help people in early adulthood recover better after spinal cord injury or other damage to the nervous system.

Institution
MUSC
Recruitment Contact
Christina Gill
843-792-6313
thompchr@musc.edu

Operant Conditioning of Spinal Reflexes to Improve Motor Function Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury Save

Date Added
April 7th, 2015
PRO Number
Pro00042082
Researcher
Aiko Thompson

List of Studies

Silhouette
Keywords
Nervous System, Rehabilitation Studies, Spinal Cord
Summary

Reflexes are important parts of our movements. When reflexes are not working well, movements are clumsy or even impossible. After spinal cord injury, reflex responses may change. Researchers have found that people can learn to increase or decrease a reflex response with training. Recently, we have found that rats with spinal cord injuries can walk better after they are trained to change a spinal reflex. Thus, learning to change a reflex response may help people recover after a nervous system injury. In this study, we aim to examine whether learning to change a spinal reflex through operant conditioning training can improve movement function recovery after spinal cord injury.

Institution
MUSC
Recruitment Contact
Christina Thompson
843-792-6313
thompchr@musc.edu

Operant Conditioning of Motor Evoked Potential to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Improve Motor Function Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury Save

Date Added
April 7th, 2015
PRO Number
Pro00042109
Researcher
Aiko Thompson

List of Studies

Silhouette
Keywords
Movement Disorders, Rehabilitation Studies, Spinal Cord
Summary

Over many years, we have learnt that the brain's connections with the spinal cord change in response to injury or training. Because brain-spinal cord (i.e., corticospinal) pathways are very important in movement control, restoring function of these pathways could help to restore useful movement after spinal cord injury (SCI). In this project, we hypothesize that operant conditioning training of the muscle response to non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation can strengthen the functional connectivity of corticospinal pathways and thereby alleviate movement problems in people with chronic incomplete SCI. Specifically, through this project, we will investigate the effects of strengthening the corticospinal connection to the ankle dorsiflexor muscles through operant up-conditioning of the muscle evoked response, in hope to enhance the function of corticospinal pathways and alleviate foot drop (i.e., weak ankle dorsiflexion resulting in toe drop and drag) during walking in people with chronic incomplete SCI.

Institution
MUSC
Recruitment Contact
Thompson, Christina R.
843-792-6313
thompchr@musc.edu

Modulation of Spinal Reflexes during Walking in People after Spinal Cord Injury Save

Date Added
April 7th, 2015
PRO Number
Pro00042824
Researcher
Aiko Thompson

List of Studies

Silhouette
Keywords
Movement Disorders, Rehabilitation Studies, Spinal Cord
Summary

Spinal reflexes take important part in our movement. After spinal cord injury (SCI), reflexes often change. For many years, researchers and doctors have assumed that abnormally acting spinal reflexes lead to movement problems, without clear scientific evidence. For example, in people who suffer spasticity, a common problem after SCI, walking is disturbed, presumably because stretch reflexes (e.g., knee jerk reflex) and some other reflexes are not working well. Yet, which reflex is causing a problem in what way has not been well understood. Such understanding is very important in developing and applying effective therapies for improving gait recovery after SCI. Therefore, in this project, we are studying spinal stretch reflexes and other reflexes during walking, to understand how these reflexes contribute to spastic gait problems in people with chronic incomplete SCI. Successful completion of this project will result in better understanding of spastic gait problems, which in turn, will help us develop more effective therapy application and improve the quality of life in people after SCI.

Institution
MUSC
Recruitment Contact
Christina Thompson
843-792-6313
thompchr@musc.edu

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