Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury occurs when there is damage to the spinal cord that blocks communication between the brain and the body. TxBDC researchers are developing Targeted Plasticity Therapy (TPT) to reorganize the nervous system to treat spinal cord injury with the goal of dramatically reducing the cost of delivery of this therapy to patients. The Center’s recent clinical research has demonstrated the potential to treat tinnitus and improve motor function in stroke patients. We fully expect to extend this success to patients with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy in the near future.

Technology to ReWire the Nervous System

TxBDC has developed technology to guide the recovery of arm and leg movements after a brain injury or disease called the RePair System. The RePair System uses sensors worn on the arms and legs to monitor movements and trigger the ReStore vagus nerve stimulator, strengthening specific neural connections. The RePlay System monitors hand movements as patients play games, triggering stimulation of the vagus nerve. These systems allow patients to improve arm and leg movements using an app on their smart phone and can be done at home.

Technology for Upper Limb Rehabilitation

Technology for Lower Limb Rehabilitation

Related Publications:

eLife: Closed-loop neuromodulation restores network connectivity and motor control after spinal cord injury

Behavioural Brain Research: Awake behaving electrophysiological correlates of forelimb hyperreflexia, weakness and disrupted muscular synchronization following cervical spinal cord injury in the rat

In the News:

eLife: Spinal Cord Injury: Is the vagus nerve our neural connectome?

D Magazine: This UTD engineer is saving people from endless misery

Wings for Life: Promoting Recovery from Cervical SCI by Pairing Rehabilitation with Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation: Viva the Vagus: Stimulation Boosts SCI Recovery Stimulation

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