Research led by Monica Perez, PT, PhD, scientific chair of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Harris Family Foundation Arms + Hands Lab, uses a noninvasive neurostimulation treatment to target synaptic connections in the spinal cord.
“The unique part about our protocol is that we stimulate broken connections and try to target the biological connections,” said Dr. Perez. “It’s very precise in terms of the time we activate the brain — just a few milliseconds before we activate the periphery in order to get signals to the spinal cord.”
In the process, it improves and preserves physical therapy functional improvements in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) — temporarily mending the broken connection between the brain and spinal cord.
“We are the only laboratory in the world that is using this protocol in spinal cord injury,” she said. “Our goal, however, is to transform the protocol and use it around multiple sites in the country.”
Click below to watch Dr. Perez’s demonstration of neurostimulation from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Spark! 2022 virtual fundraising event.