Locomotor Function, Energetics and Rehabilitation

Gait Rehabilitation

Development of a Passive Elastic Exoskeleton for Gait Rehabilitation
Sponsor: NIH/ National Institute of Child Health & Human Development  |  PI: Jesse Dean
The long-term goal of the proposed project is to develop an innovative gait rehabilitation device that is low-cost and more effective than current rehabilitation techniques. If successful, populations with limited gait function would be provided a more affordable method of gait rehabilitation that could allow them to practice assisted walking in more real world, non-clinical situations.
To learn more about this project, please click here.

Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Development of a Rehabilitation Research Program to Study the Biomechanics of Walking Following Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
Sponsor: South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund | PI: Chris Gregory
A goal of this work is to elucidate the underlying mechanisms that limit locomotor function after incomplete SCI. Surprisingly little is known about the mechanisms underlying walking following SCI and few data exist that describe the biomechanical characteristics of walking in this population. Our long-term goal is to establish the environment necessary to successfully compete for external funding with studies aimed at designing rehabilitation interventions that maximize functional recovery in persons following incomplete SCI. The more immediate goals, and aims of this proposal, are to 1) establish a network for recruitment of subjects; 2) develop database describing the biomechanics of walking; 3) determine predictors of impaired walking; and 4) perform pilot studies on adaptations to interventions, in persons following incomplete SCI.

Propulsive Training in Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
Sponsor: South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund | PI: Mark Bowden
The goals of this study are to: 1) develop a laboratory capable of capturing detailed biomechanical data in controls and populations with spinal cord injury, 2) develop a database of biomechanical and functional performance measures in controls and individuals with iSCI in order to examine biomechanical underpinnings of walking after SCI and compare to normative values and, 3) collect pilot data for interventions related to improving force production during walking.

Task-specific Propulsion Training after Neurological Injury
Sponsor: NIH/Georgetown University | PI: Mark Bowden
The purpose of this pilot work is to explore the ability of a custom piece of hardware (Force Pod, Aretec, LLC; Ashburn, VA) to assist with training propulsion during task specific walking interventions. The Force Pod is designed to provide anterior or posterior forces to the center of mass during walking and may theoretically facilitate improved propulsive impulses during the walking cycle.

Stroke Prevention/Treatment

Prevention of Stroke after STOP
Sponsor: NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute  |  PI: Robert Adams; Co-Investigator: Abby Kazley
The major goal of this project is to follow up on pediatric sickle cell patients who are at risk for stroke. The project will examine the epidemiological, biosocial, and organizational characteristics that influence care for this population.

Telemedicine to Treat Stroke and Increase Medication Safety in Rural Hospitals
PI: Abby Kazley – Project Pending
This project evaluates the use of telemedicine to treat stroke patients in South Carolina. Using an existing telemedicine network called REACH, the candidate will examine safe medication management, transition of care across settings, and increasing the quality of patient centered care related to a promising health information technology application.

Stroke Rehabilitation

Evaluation of Walking Specific Motor Learning in Chronic Stroke
Sponsor: VA Rehabilitation R&D Service Career Development Award  |  PI: Mark Bowden
The purposes of this grant are to 1) identify variables to distinguish changes in behavior that imply motor learning associated with a locomotor rehabilitation program; and 2) develop a portable biomechanical assessment system to be used outside of a traditional biomechanics laboratory.

Intermuscular Coordination of Hemiparetic Walking
Sponsor: NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development  |  PI: Steve Kautz
This study performs computer modeling of experimental data to investigate how muscle forces are related to step length asymmetry and propulsion deficits in persons with hemiparesis undergoing locomotor training.

Lower Extremity Power and Locomotor Function after Stroke
Sponsor: American Heart Association  |  PI: Christopher Gregory, Co-I: Noelle Moreau
The primary objective of the proposed project is to establish a scientific framework to maximize walking outcomes post-stroke. This project is based on the belief that: 1) the ability to activate muscles with the appropriate timing and amplitude is impaired and is in large part responsible for the gait disabilities following stroke and 2) high-velocity jump training facilitates use-dependent plasticity in lower extremity muscles resulting in improved walking. 
To learn more about this project, please click here.

Randomized Trial of the WalkAide Compared to Conventional Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFO) in Stroke Patients
Sponsor: Corporate Sponsor  |  Co-PI: Steven Kautz, Co-PI: Wuwei Feng
This clinical trial will test the WalkAide (a functional electrical stimulation based device to control foot drop) versus an ankle-foot orthotic, which is the current standard of care for those with foot drop after stroke.

Skeletal Muscle Properties and the Metabolic Cost of Walking Post-Stroke
Sponsor: Veterans Administration Medical Center  |  PI: Chris Gregory
The primary objective of the proposed project is to establish a scientific framework to maximize walking outcomes post-stroke. This project is based on the belief that: 1) the ability to activate muscles with the appropriate timing and amplitude is impaired and is in large part responsible for the gait disabilities following stroke and 2) high-velocity jump training facilitates use-dependent plasticity in lower extremity muscles resulting in improved walking.

Task-specific Propulsion Training after Neurological Injury
Sponsor: NIH/Georgetown University  |  PI: Mark Bowden
The purpose of this pilot work is to explore the ability of a custom piece of hardware (Force Pod, Aretec, LLC; Ashburn, VA) to assist with training propulsion during task specific walking interventions. The Force Pod is designed to provide anterior or posterior forces to the center of mass during walking and may theoretically facilitate improved propulsive impulses during the walking cycle.

tDCS for Walking Recovery After Atroke: Comparison of Cortical and Spinal Stimulation
Sponsor: South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute  |  PI: Steve Kautz
The fundamental question addressed by the proposed pilot work is whether the combination of a task-specific physical intervention strategy and safe, non-invasive tDCS can improve rehabilitation outcomes by facilitating increased and more appropriate motor output of the paretic leg motor neuron pools when stimulating the cortex and/or the lumbosacral spinal cord.

ZeroG: Dynamic Over‐Ground Body Weight Support System
Sponsor: Corporate Sponsor & NIH/National Institute of Child Health & Human Development  |  Co-PI: Steven Kautz
This study develops new features for the novel device, the Zero-G overhead body weight support system, by applying an adaptive controller to help person post stroke and spinal cord injury to practice walking over-ground more symmetrically.

 
 
 

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