Elizabeth Bye (BAppSc PT, PhD) trained as a physiotherapist at the University of Sydney and worked as a clinician for almost 10 years at Prince of Wales Hospital where she specialised in spinal cord injury rehabilitation. She obtained her PhD from the University of Sydney in 2020 completing her research at NeuRA and the Kolling Institute. The focus of her thesis was on strengthening of partially paralysed muscles following a spinal cord injury. This involved a multi-centred international randomised controlled trial across Australia and India, investigating the efficacy of a strengthening intervention. Further, she studied the mechanisms at play responsible for strength gains in neurologically weak muscles using an MRI technique, diffusor tensor imaging (DTI), and assessed the reliability of a commonly used strength measurement tool.
Elizabeth has also been involved in trials assessing abdominal electrical stimulation to assist with ventilator weaning in critical illness. She now works as a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre at NeuRA. Elizabeth’s current projects investigate the effect of transcutaneous spinal stimulation (TSS) combined with locomotor training on walking ability as well as exploring some of the methodological aspects of TSS and the corresponding response of lower limb reflexes.
To determine whether strength training combined with usual care increases strength in partially paralysed muscles of people with recent spinal cord injury (SCI) more than usual care alone. Strength training increases strength in partially paralysed muscles of people with recent SCI, although it is not clear whether the size of the treatment effect is clinically meaningful. Strength training has no deleterious effects on spasticity.
To investigate mechanisms by which short-term resistance training (6 weeks) increases strength of partially paralysed muscles in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). This study is the first to examine the mechanisms by which voluntary strength training increases strength of partially paralysed muscles in people with SCI. The data suggest that strength gains produced by six weeks of strength training are not caused by changes in muscle architecture. This suggests short-term strength gains are due to increased neural drive or an increase in specific muscle tension.