Literature review indicates best practices following spinal cord injury
This study reviews select recovery outcomes and measures from multicenter studies and a large spinal cord injury (SCI) database to show that future SCI treatment strategies should be based on demonstrated effective interventions. Investigators found that an accurate examination in the first days following injury is critical to neurological recovery. Neurological recovery following SCI is often associated with an increase in function, walking, and self care. The Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury has recently demonstrated validity and an increased sensitivity and responsiveness to change in neurological/walking function in patients with SCI.
Functional electrical stimulation reverses muscle degeneration
This study investigates muscle recovery induced by a new system of life-long functional electrical stimulation training in permanent denervated human muscle. Needle biopsies of long-term denervated muscles showed severe dystrophy beginning two years after spinal cord injury. The excitability of denervated muscles was first improved by twitch-contraction training. Then, stimulation against a progressively increased load was performed. Muscle biopsies show that this progressive training almost reversed long-term muscle atrophy/dystrophy.
Contact: Judith LaVoie
410-962-1800 x 229
VA Research Communications Service