Neuromodulation enhanced activity-based therapy

Neuromodulation enhanced activity-based therapy for motor recovery following Spinal Cord Injury
Theme: Sensory and motor systems


Sunday 23rd April, 10:20 – 12:00

Activity-based therapy (ABT) has been widely used following a spinal cord injury (SCI) to retrain the nervous systems for regaining neuromuscular control and function below the level of injury. Neuromodulation combining ABT has been proposed to enhance therapeutic effects of either of the modalities via strengthening corticospinal-motoneuronal connections. This symposium will discuss research findings obtained from animals and humans in combined neuromodulation and ABT for functional restoration and neuroplasticity in the nervous systems following SCI. Professor Ronaldo Ichiyama from University of Leeds will discuss the importance of combining epidural spinal cord stimulation with ABT to recover locomotor function in adult rats with a spinal transection. Mr Joseph Steel from the London Spinal Cord Injury Unit at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital is a physiotherapist specialising in SCI care. He will present a clinical perspective of applying ABT in the acute setting, and describe how he is pioneering the application of transcutaneous cervical spinal cord stimulation to enhance ABT for recovery of upper limb function in acute patients with SCI. Dr Lynsey Duffell from the University College London will discuss her research into combining electrically-stimulated leg cycling with virtual reality biofeedback to optimise cortical drive, and recover walking function, in individuals with chronic incomplete SCI. Finally, Dr Chloe Shin-Yi Chiou from University of Birmingham will discuss utilisation of crossed corticospinal facilitation to induce changes in cortical and subcortical circuits projecting to the trunk muscles via the use of arm exercise in individual with chronic incomplete SCI. The speakers range from leaders of the field to early career researchers, and from academia to clinicians, bridging basic sciences and clinical trials.

  • Chloe Shin-Yi Chiou, University of Birmingham, UK: Pairing movements across arms and the trunk for enhancing motor output of the trunk after spinal cord injury (co-chair)
  • Ronaldo Ichiyama, University of Leeds, UK: Neuromodulation of Spinal Circuits: Neurorehabiliation and Recovery of Function Following Severe SCI
  • Lynsey Duffell, the University College London: First UK experience of epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation in a patient with motor complete spinal cord injury – motor recovery and multisystem gains (co-chair)
  • Joseph Steel, the London Spinal Cord Injury Unit at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital: Early application of neuromodulation to enhance recovery following Spinal Cord Injury - a clinical perspective

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