Completed Research Studies

21. Title: A Randomized Trial of Locomotor Training for SCI (A study to improve walking after spinal cord injury)

Study the effects of Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training in acute incomplete spinal cord injury

Purpose: This project is designed to determine the effects of body weight supported treadmill training (BWSTT) on recovery of walking ability after traumatic incomplete spinal cord injury.

Principal Investigator: John F. Ditunno, MD
Co-Investigator(s): Michael F. Saulino, MD, Ph.D.

Background: There is scientific evidence that the human spinal cord has an intelligence all its own that can generate steplike electrical patterns when exposed to sensations like walking. Body weight supported treadmill training (BWSTT) takes advantage of that concept by having patients who have sustained a spinal cord injury to undergo weight-supported ambulation. This involves the patient being placed in a parachute harness and positioned over a treadmill. Once the treadmill belt starts, physical therapists assist the patient to "walk" by helping move the patient's legs. Clinical research has shown that patients with certain types of spinal cord injuries who undergo this type of therapy have enhanced locomotor activity.

The purpose of this National Institutes of Health-sponsored clinical trial isto determine the effects of body weight supported treadmill training (BWSTT) on recovery of walking ability after traumatic incomplete spinal cord injury. This study helps to define whether this mode of therapy is better than conventional physical therapy. Researchers also wish to learn whether this form of therapy improves motor skills.

Status: Study Completed

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