Neurorehabilitation research

Neuromodulation via spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and pharmacological intervention are promising therapies to restore functions after paralyzing spinal cord injuries. Even clinically complete spinal cord injuries generally have some axonal connections through the lesion area of the spinal cord. However, the caudal area from the lesion becomes silent as these few residual connections are unable to provide any significant signal transfer from the brain. Epidural spinal cord stimulation can activate these silent spinal networks. Epidural electrical stimulation of the lumbosecral spinal cord has been used in both humans and animals to improve postural and locomotor ability after a spinal cord injury. In recent studies, we are the first to demonstrate epidural cervical spinal cord stimulation to improve forelimb functions such as reaching, grasping and grip strengths in cervical injured animals.