Accession Number : AD1013344

Title :   Directing Spinal Cord Plasticity: The Impact of Stretch Therapy on Functional Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury

Descriptive Note : Technical Report,30 Sep 2014,29 Sep 2015

Corporate Author : University of Louisville Louisville United States

Personal Author(s) : Magnuson,David S K

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Oct 2015

Pagination or Media Count : 8

Abstract : Essentially all spinal cord injured patients receive stretching therapies beginning within the first few weeks post-injury. Despite this fact, almost nothing is known about how stretching might influence the neural circuitry in the spinal cord that is responsible for controlling the motor and locomotor activities of the legs. Recently, while studying activity-based rehabilitation in a rat model of spinal cord injury, we observed that stretching actually worsened locomotor recovery. The goal of this project is to investigate how the timing and intensity of a stretch-based therapy influences locomotor recovery after moderate and severe spinal cord injuries. In this, the first year of this award, we have found that stretching negatively influences locomotor function in animals with both acute (within days) and chronic (after 3 months) spinal cord injuries. We have also determined that stretching for short periods of time (4-5 weeks) allows substantial recovery to occur once stretching is stopped, and both acute and chronic animals show a similar time course of recovery. Finally, in very preliminary studies, we have found that the torque being applied during stretching of the rat hindlimb is roughly similar to that applied to human lower extremities relative to body weight.

Descriptors :   spinal cord , recovery , spinal injuries , therapeutics , wounds and injuries , rehabilitation , Physical therapy , locomotion

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE