Newborns who are born premature or suffer brain injury at birth are at risk for motor problems that may cause weakness in reaching and grasping on one side of the body. In older children, therapists may use a hand mitt and restraint for the stronger arm, to encourage use of the weaker side, called constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT). Even with the high intensity therapy of CIMT, it typically takes between 40-120 hours total treatment time for most children to improve their motor skills. A non-invasive form of nerve stimulation, transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS), stimulates a nerve by the ear that enhances learning motor skills. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of taVNS to improve motor skills when paired with CIMT in infants with one-sided weakness at 6-18months of age.
We propose to enroll 150 individuals with acute stroke admitted to MUSC over the next 12 months and randomize them into increased frequency and usual care PT treatment groups. This study will be designed as a randomized control trial. Patients who agree to participate, will be assigned (at random) to either a treatment group which will receive more frequent intensive therapy services or to the control group (treatment as usual) which will receive the standard amount of therapy services currently provided in the hospital setting (~3-5 times per week). By studying the balance, walking and success of patients in the treatment group compared with the standard of care group- we hope to better understand the effect of more frequent physical therapy services on a patient's independence post stroke.
The study team is recruiting 20 adults with spasticity due to chronic stroke and 20 adults with no neurological injuries for a 2 day study. In people with chronic stroke, one of the most common and disabling problems is spasticity (increased muscle tone or muscle stiffness). The purpose of this research study is to examine effects of dry needling on the nervous system (pathways between the muscle, spinal cord, and brain) in people with spasticity due to chronic stroke. Dry needling is a procedure in which a thin, stainless steel needle is inserted into your skin to produce a muscle twitch response. It is intended to release a knot in your muscle and relieve pain.
The total study duration is 2 days. The first visit will take about 3 hours, during which dry needling will take place, and the second visit will take about 1 hour. During both visits you will be asked to participate in examinations of reflexes (muscle responses to non-invasive nerve stimulation) and arm/leg function.
Hand disability after stroke has a profound negative impact on functional ability and independence. Hand therapy may be augmented with sensory stimulation for better outcomes. We have developed a novel sensory stimulation - unfelt vibration applied via a wristwatch. In this study, we will determine if combining this stimulation with hand task practice is superior to hand task practice alone.
The purpose of this study is to determine if 3-dimensional finger force training is an effective tool in restoring hand function post stroke. Persons who survived a stroke 3 to 12 months ago and have a hand impairment will be eligible to participate in this study. Participants will be asked to come to the laboratory to practice controlling the finger force generation 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Participants will see their performance on a computer screen. Participants will also come to the laboratory for additional 4-7 visits for assessments of their upper extremity function. The total duration of the study will be 2.5 months.
Walking after a lower extremity amputation is often difficult. It is important that researchers and clinicians understand the mechanisms that inhibit normal walking function. In this study, we are recruiting individuals with lower extremity limb loss for a walking and balance investigation. We will also be studying matched healthy controls to do similar study procedures. All study procedures will occur on the campus of MUSC by a licensed Physical Therapist and experienced researcher. Any questions should be directed to the coordinator listed.
Stroke is the leading cause of disability, as many of those affected demonstrate difficulty with movement and
walking. Rehabilitation post-stroke can be challenging and often ineffective because no two stroke survivors
present with the same mobility impairments, yet the same physical therapy interventions are utilized. Thus, a need exists to personalize rehabilitation techniques to improve function and mobility post-stroke. The proposed innovative research will test a framework created to identify the most effective intervention based on a participant's specific motor control problems. We plan to study how self-selected walking speed is impacted by a four-week walking program that incorporates either walking on an inclined or declined treadmill compared to walking on a flat treadmill. We will determine the best intervention for each problem and identify predictors of response. Selecting the correct intervention for personalized motor control problems, as opposed to applying a one-size-fits-all strategy for rehabilitation, is likely to improve walking function in Veterans after stroke.
Rehabilitation interventions including resistance training, functional and task-specific therapy, and gait or locomotor training have been shown to be successful in improving motor function in individuals with neurologic disease or injury. Recent investigations conducted in our laboratory indicate that intense resistance training coupled with task-specific functional training lead to significant gains in functional motor recovery. Similarly, gait rehabilitation involving intense treadmill training and/or task-specific locomotor training has been shown to be effective in improving locomotor ability. However, the underlying neural adaptations associated with these therapeutic approaches are not well understood. Our primary goal is to understand the motor control underpinnings of neurologic rehabilitation in order to apply this knowledge to future generations of therapeutic interventions.