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Combined Brain Stimulation and Hand Robotic Training in Chronic SCI

In-Progress / Currently Recruiting Participants
July 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018
Trial Identifier: 
tDCS & Hand Robot

The Human Spinal Cord Injury Repair Laboratory at Burke Medical Research Institute is currently looking for subjects with tetraplegia after spinal cord injury for a clinical research study.

This study will investigate the effects of 6 weeks of hand robotic training combined with direct current brain stimulation (tDCS) on the functional recovery of the hand. The combined training includes 3 sessions per week, each session lasting approximately 1hour, for a total of 18 sessions.

We also aim to investigate the mechanisms of the motor recovery and to characterize the neurophysiological profile of patients and specific muscles that respond to robotic motor training by using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).


Age Range: 
18 years to 80 years old
Both (Male and Female)
Inclusion Criteria: 
  • Injury Date: Greater than 1 year after the injury.
  • Injury type: Cervical lesion. Complete/Incomplete. Traumatic/Non-traumatic.
  • Presence of some degree of weakness in the arm.
  • Ability to pick one block in the Box and Blocks test.
  • Ability to tolerate sitting upright at for at least one hour.
  • Cognitively and behaviorally capable of complying with the regimen.
Exclusion Criteria: 
  • Concomitant/progressive neurological disorder.
  • Medically unstable.
  • Severely limited range of join motion or irreversible muscle contractures in the upper limb.
  • Less than 1 year post-injury.
  • Level of injury caudal to T1 level.
  • Presence of contraindications for TMS/tDCS:
  1. Implanted metal devices in the head (as an intra-cerebral vascular clip or any other electrically sensitive support system).
  2. Presence of cardiac pacemaker.
  3. Past Medical history of seizures or unexplained spells of loss of consciousness.
  4. A history of medication-resistant epilepsy in the family members.


New York State Department of Health - Spinal Cord Injury Research Board

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Study Locations

Burke Medical Research Institute
785 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10573