Although the incidence of SCI is lower in comparison to other debilitating disorders, the age of injury onset can be much younger, which results in decades of living with this disability. Therefore, optimizing rehabilitative strategies in people with SCI can have a major impact on their ability to regain functional independence. Our recent studies provide evidence that whole body vibration (WBV) may have value as an intervention for both reducing spasticity and improving walking function in people with SCI. However, the optimal frequency and duration of WBV that will result in the greatest improvement in these outcomes are unknown. The overarching goal of the parent grant is to find the optimal dose of WBV that will result in decreased spasticity and increased walking function. To quantify these dosing effects on spasticity, we are collecting biomechanical measures of quadriceps spasticity as well as electrophysiologic measures related to ankle spasticity. To measure changes in walking function we are analyzing changes in walking speed while simultaneously collecting kinematic data related to lower extremity biomechanics using a 3D motion capture system. This study will not only have possible functional benefits for people with SCI, but the knowledge gained on understanding dose-response effects of WBV can benefit clinical populations beyond SCI, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy. Additionally, the data collected during this study will provide insights related to spinal circuit plasticity associated with biomechanical changes in spasticity, as well as kinematic data alterations associated with changes in walking speed. The NIH Diversity Supplement will give me the opportunity to learn about these neural and biomechanical changes and be trained by fellow members in my lab on techniques that I will use during my dissertation studies.
|Estes, Stephen; Iddings, Jennifer A; Ray, Somu et al. (2018) Comparison of Single-Session Dose Response Effects of Whole Body Vibration on Spasticity and Walking Speed in Persons with Spinal Cord Injury. Neurotherapeutics 15:684-696|