Spinal Cord Injury

RESEARCH CENTRE

THERAPEUTIC ACUTE INTERMITTENT HYPOXIA TO RESTORE VOLUNTARY FUNCTION AFTER SPINAL CORD INJURY

Therapeutic acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) is a cutting-edge treatment that has the potential to restore function to muscles paralysed due to a spinal cor injury by changing the way the brain and spinal cord connect.

The project recently received $1.5 million to advance the effectiveness of AIH, which may help people to improve their breathing and recover movement after a spinal cord injury.

Led by NeuRA’s Senior Principal Research Scientist, Professor Jane Butler, it’s aimed to identify the best way to apply this treatment clinically in a targeted and tailored manner for people who have chronic and acute spinal cord injuries to improve their quality of life.

Professor Butler will study how this therapy affects people with a spinal cord injury to optimise treatment and better predict those who may benefit most from it.

SPINAL CORD INJURY TEAM

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ReacStep – novel balance training programs to prevent falls in older adults

The ReacStep study is investigating the short-term effects of two balance training programs (i.e. reactive balance training and conventional balance training) on balance recovery from slips and trips in older adults. These programs are designed from evidence-based research and offer a challenging and unique experience to improving balance. The ReacStep team are calling on volunteers who: are aged 65 and over living independently in the Sydney metropolitan community can walk 500m comfortably with mobility aids or rest have not been advised by a medical practitioner not to exercise have no neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc.) have no history or lower limb, pelvic or vertebral fracture(s) and/or lower limb joint replacement(s) in the past 6 months have no other existing conditions that may prevent them from exercising (e.g. injury, pain, fatigue, etc.) Eligible volunteers will be subjected to a health and safety screening before they are enrolled and randomly allocated into one of the two groups. Both groups will undertake a 3-week training program with an exercise physiologist, at NeuRA (i.e. in Randwick) as well as a balance recovery assessment at the 4-week time point. Reactive balance training involves intentionally stepping on a sliding tile, stepping over obstacles, trigger-release recovery as well as strength training. Participants will be wearing a full-body safety harness to ensure safety. Conventional balance training involves keeping balance in varying foot positions (i.e. feet together, in tandem or on one leg) whilst performing secondary tasks such as throwing a ball, card sorting, solving a maze or playing computer games. For more detailed information, read the Participant Information Statement and watch the video below. To get involved or to register your interest, click HERE. For all other queries, please contact the ReacStep Team on 02 9399 1002 or reactstep-study@neura.edu.au. HC210350 https://youtu.be/55q5pK0kjqY
PROJECT