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Reactivating Neural Circuits with Clinically Accessible Stimulation to Restore Hand Function in Persons with Tetraplegia

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Technical Report,15 Aug 2016,14 Aug 2017

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Shepherd Center, INC Atlanta United States

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This study is designed to examine arm and hand function after receiving fine motor training combined with stimulation to increase brain excitability in individuals with cervical spinal cord injuries. The project will study two types of stimulation- transcranial direct current stimulation, a type of non-invasive brain stimulation, and peripheral nerve somatosensory stimulation, which is stimulation to the median nerve. A total of 70 participants are expected to enroll in the study, 45 participants with acute spinal cord injuries 6 months post injury and 15 participants with chronic injuries 1 year post injury. We estimate enrolling 10 additional participants due to attrition. The project will be performed in a real-world clinical setting, so that the results can be immediately relevant for application to clinical practice. We believe that increasing the ability of the brain to push information through the remaining spinal pathways will result in more effective therapy and larger improvements in hand function. In our initial year, study design was refined, IRBHRPO approval was obtained, study staff have been trained for interventions and assessments, and 15 participants have been enrolled into the study. Recruitment and enrollment is expected to continue into 2019.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Anatomy and Physiology

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