Spinal Cord Injury

RESEARCH CENTRE

The Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre (SCIRC) at NeuRA was established in 2020.
The Centre conducts research aimed at improving the lives of those with spinal cord injuries, and was built thanks to funding from SpinalCure Australia.
The Centre is home to studies that could lead to significant changes to the treatment methods for people with spinal cord injuries. Meet our research teams below.

 

Spinal Cord Injury Volunteer Database
The SCIRC has a volunteer database for people with a SCI. Add your details to the database to be contacted about involvement in future research studies. Click the button if you would like to find out more about this database or add your details.

eWalk physiotherapists with participant

 

Cutting Edge Equipment and Research
This facility contains state-of-the-art exercise, rehabilitation and neurophysiology equipment. NeuRA has long been a world leader in neurostimulation research. The creation of this centre in 2020 enables the organisation to increase the scope and speed of this research. The Centre is currently exploring cutting-edge techniques, such as neurostimulation, acute-intermittent hypoxia and inspiratory muscle training, which could help activate muscles in people with spinal cord injuries.
Improved activation of muscles is likely to lead to improved bodily functions, such as breathing and walking.

 

Why this research is so important
Around 350 Australians are affected by a spinal cord injury each year, many of them at a young age. The effects of a spinal cord injury are major: they can impair many critical functions that are easily taken for granted. Movement, sensation, blood pressure control as well as bowel, bladder and sexual function can all be affected.
NeuRA’s commitment to spinal cord injury research could help improve the quality of life of the estimated 12,000 people across Australia who have a spinal cord injury.

 

 

 

Spinal cord injury studies
The Centre is home to studies that could lead to significant changes to the treatment methods for people with spinal cord:Current SCI studies at NeuRA

 

Interested in participating but don’t have the time or live far away? Contribute to our research by completing a survey:

 

The Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre is based at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) which is located next to the Prince of Wales Hospital on Barker Street in Randwick NSW.
Download a Randwick Hospitals campus map (PDF)
Find us on Google maps

SPINAL CORD INJURY TEAM

See what’s going on at NeuRA

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

Brain and Knee Muscle Weakness Study

Why Does Quadriceps Weakness Persist after Total Knee Replacement? An Exploration of Neurophysiological Mechanisms Total knee replacement is a commonly performed surgery for treating end-staged knee osteoarthritis. Although most people recover well after surgery, weakness of the quadriceps muscles (the front thigh muscles) persists long after the surgery (at least for 12 months), despite intensive physiotherapy and exercise. Quadriceps muscle weakness is known to be associated with more severe pain and greatly affect daily activities. This study aims to investigate the mechanisms underlying weakness of the quadriceps muscles in people with knee osteoarthritis and total knee replacement. We hope to better understand the relationship between the changes of the brain and a loss of quadriceps muscle strength after total knee replacement. The study might be a good fit for you if you: Scheduled to undergo a total knee replacement; The surgery is scheduled within the next 4 weeks; Do not have a previous knee joint replacement in the same knee; Do not have high tibial osteotomy; Do not have neurological disorders, epilepsy, psychiatric conditions, other chronic pain conditions; Do not have metal implants in the skull; Do not have a loss of sensation in the limbs. If you decide to take part you would: Be contacted by the researcher to determine your eligibility for the study Be scheduled for testing if you are eligible and willing to take part in the study Sign the Consent Form when you attend the first testing session Attend 3 testing sessions (approximately 2 hours per session): 1) before total knee replacement, 2) 3 months and 3) 6 months after total knee replacement. The testing will include several non-invasive measures of brain representations of the quadriceps muscles, central pain mechanisms, and motor function and questionnaires. Will I be paid to take part in the research study? You will be reimbursed ($50.00 per session) for travel and parking expenses associated with the research study visits. If you would like more information or are interested in being part of the study, please contact: Name: Dr Wei-Ju Chang Email: w.chang@neura.edu.au Phone: 02 9399 1260 This research is being funded by the Physiotherapy Research Foundation.  
PROJECT