Spinal Cord Injury



NeuRA is working with Spinal Cure Australia ambassador, Sam Bloom, to raise awareness about the value of spinal cord injury research.

Sam became a world champion para-surfer after breaking her back during an accident in Thailand. She overcame seven months of hospital and rehab to become one of Australia’s most influential advocates for people with a spinal cord injury.

On 2 July, Sam joined NeuRA in an online webinar to discuss her personal journey and participate in a question and answer session on the latest in NeuRA’s research activities.

She was joined by the NeuRA’s Professor Simon Gandevia, who is heading up our new Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre (SCIRC).

This centre was constructed in 2020 thanks to generous support from SpinalCure Australia. The CEO of SpinalCure, Duncan Wallace, also joined the webinar.

SCIRC researchers are utilising cutting edge technology to experiment and test new means of treating people with spinal cord injuries.

Their goal is to help people with spinal cord injuries to regain movement and perhaps to even walk again. “I’m so excited to see how researchers can help people with spinal cord injuries to obtain a better quality of life,” said Sam. “The researchers at NeuRA are giving hope and inspiration to people with spinal cord injuries across Australia and the world,” she said.

You can follow Sam’s journey here.


See what’s going on at NeuRA


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.