This proposal is for a Program Project Grant consisting of four Projects and three Cores. Its overall goal is to investigate interactions betwee spinal circuits and the musculoskeletal system to promote more effective movement-related rehabilitation evaluation and therapeutic strategies. In each of the Projects this objective will b studied in model systems. In Project I (English), the effects of modifying the dosing, pattern, and therapeutic window of treatment with modest daily exercise in the form of treadmill training as a treatment for peripheral nerve injuries will be investigated. In Project II (Prilutsky/Gregor), the role of proprioceptive feedback in shaping functionally appropriate compensations to paralysis of selected muscles and the potential for therapeutic interventions that differentially affect lengh and force dependent feedback from, and mechanical demands on, reinnervated muscles will be studied. In Project III (Nichols), the measurement of limb mechanics will be used to evaluate changes in spinal circuitry resulting from perturbations of musculoskeletal circuits. In Project IV (Wolpaw/Chen), the role of descending neural systems in regulating the interactions of spinal and musculoskeletal circuits will be evaluated. The Projects are supported by Administrative and Technical Cores and a Clinician Scientist Advisory Board. One role of the latter is the implementation of a novel form of two way communication between Project scientists and rehabilitation clinicians. This PPG brings together a team of established scientists from diverse backgrounds, with a common goal to continue to strengthen the science base underlying clinical rehabilitation.

Public Health Relevance

By study of their impact on interactions between neuronal circuitry and the musculoskeletal system, the Projects in this PPG are aimed at enhancing the translational potential of novel treatments and/or evaluation strategies that are applicable to patients with a variety of movement disorders. Their successful completion will serve to strengthen the science base for clinical rehabilitation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-RRG-K (40))
Program Officer
Nitkin, Ralph M
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Emory University
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Eftekhar, Amir; Norton, James J S; McDonough, Christine M et al. (2018) Retraining Reflexes: Clinical Translation of Spinal Reflex Operant Conditioning. Neurotherapeutics :
Norton, James J S; Wolpaw, Jonathan R (2018) Acquisition, Maintenance, and Therapeutic Use of a Simple Motor Skill. Curr Opin Behav Sci 20:138-144
Gregor, Robert J; Maas, Huub; Bulgakova, Margarita A et al. (2018) Time course of functional recovery during the first 3 mo after surgical transection and repair of nerves to the feline soleus and lateral gastrocnemius muscles. J Neurophysiol 119:1166-1185
Chen, Yi; Chen, Lu; Wang, Yu et al. (2017) Why New Spinal Cord Plasticity Does Not Disrupt Old Motor Behaviors. J Neurosci 37:8198-8206
Pantall, Annette; Hodson-Tole, Emma F; Gregor, Robert J et al. (2016) Increased intensity and reduced frequency of EMG signals from feline self-reinnervated ankle extensors during walking do not normalize excessive lengthening. J Neurophysiol 115:2406-20
Chen, Xiang Yang; Wang, Yu; Chen, Yi et al. (2016) Ablation of the inferior olive prevents H-reflex down-conditioning in rats. J Neurophysiol 115:1630-6
Gordon, Tessa; English, Arthur W (2016) Strategies to promote peripheral nerve regeneration: electrical stimulation and/or exercise. Eur J Neurosci 43:336-50
Zhu, Xiya; Ward, Patricia J; English, Arthur W (2016) Selective Requirement for Maintenance of Synaptic Contacts onto Motoneurons by Target-Derived trkB Receptors. Neural Plast 2016:2371893
Farrell, Brad J; Bulgakova, Margarita A; Sirota, Mikhail G et al. (2015) Accurate stepping on a narrow path: mechanics, EMG, and motor cortex activity in the cat. J Neurophysiol 114:2682-702
Krakowiak, Joey; Liu, Caiyue; Papudesu, Chandana et al. (2015) Neuronal BDNF signaling is necessary for the effects of treadmill exercise on synaptic stripping of axotomized motoneurons. Neural Plast 2015:392591

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