Dr. Carmel and the Movement Recovery Laboratory Publish in Brain: A Journal of Neurology
The WFCPC would like to congratulate Dr. Jason Carmel and the Movement Recovery Laboratory on the acceptance of their paper “Spinal cord associative plasticity improves forelimb sensorimotor function after cervical injury” for publication in Brain: A Journal of Neurology. Brain is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that has published landmark papers in clinical neurology and neuroscience since 1878 and is considered one of the oldest and most prestigious neurology journals.
The Carmel Lab has developed an electrical stimulation approach to repairing nervous system connections important for arm and hand function. Paired stimulation of brain and spinal cord was delivered to rats with injury to the cervical spinal cord and impaired dexterity. Rats that received electrical stimulation had improved forepaw function when manipulating pieces of food. They also had stronger muscle responses to electrical stimulation and near normalization of reflexes. These changes were not seen in rats randomized to receive sham stimulation. In addition to demonstrating that this novel stimulation approach improved function, the investigators determined why function improved. Specifically, brain stimulation acted through its direct connection to the spinal cord, and spinal cord stimulation acted through sensory fibers that enable the sense of the body’s position in space. The lab is now testing whether the approach that worked in rats can promote plasticity and improve function in people. This work is sponsored by grants from the NIH and the Travis Roy Foundation.
Ajay Pal1, HongGeun Park1, Aditya Ramamurthy1, Ahmet S. Asan1, Thelma Bethea1, Meenu Johnkutty1, Jason B. Carmel1,2.
Departments of 1Orthopedics and 2Neurology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032