Hospital Seeks Participants for Research Study: Individuals with paralysis after spinal cord injury

June 6, 2013

Helen Hayes Hospital and the Wadsworth Center, both facilities of the New York State Department of Health, are seeking volunteers to participate in a spinal reflex training study. It is hoped that results of the study will help in the development of new treatments for individuals with paralysis due to spinal cord injury.

After spinal cord injury, stroke or other traumatic events happen to the nervous system, reflex functions are often changed. Because reflexes are important parts of our movements and behaviors, when reflexes are not working well, movements may be disturbed. Researchers have found that people can learn to increase or decrease a reflex response by means of training. Learning to change a reflex response may become an effective approach as a rehabilitation treatment.

Participants are asked to stand or walk while measurements are made. Surface electrodes are placed on the skin over arm or leg muscles for monitoring muscle activity and over a nerve to produce reflex responses in the muscles. Nerve stimulation may cause a brief mild sensation. Participation in this study will take less than 90 minutes per session.

Volunteers will be paid for their time and every effort will be made to accommodate participants