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Non-Invasive Paired Stimulation and Anklebot Robot to Improve Lower Extremity Motor Recovery in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury

June 20, 2017

The Human Spinal Cord Injury Repair laboratory at Burke Medical Research Institute is currently looking for participants with some degree of motor dysfunction in the lower extremity after spinal cord injury for a clinical research study.

The aim of the study is to use robotic kinematics and neurophysiology as possible outcome markers to predict improvement in motor recovery.

This project has two objectives:
  1. To investigate the quality of movement in the lower extremity using a robotic device, the Anklebot.
  2. To strength the spared connections between the brain and the muscle after spinal cord injury pairing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electrical stimulation. The two stimuli will target the soleus muscle in the lower extremity.
We are expecting to:
  1. Objectively characterized the motor dysfunction using lower limb robotics.
  2. Improve the voluntary motor output using the paired stimulation protocol. 


Age Range: 
18 to 80 years old
Both (Male and Female)
Inclusion Criteria: 
  • Age: 18 to 80 years.
  • Injury Date: Greater than 1 year after the injury.
  • Injury type: Incomplete lesion (ASIA B, C, D). Traumatic and Non-Traumatic.
  • Presence of some degree of motor function in the ankle flexors and extensors.
  • Ability to tolerate sitting upright at for at least one hour.
  • Cognitively and behaviorally capable of complying with the regimen.
Exclusion Criteria: 
  • Motor complete spinal cord injury (ASIA A).
  • Presence of other neurological disorders.
  • Medically unstable.
  • Severely limited range of join motion or irreversible muscle contractures in the lower limb (ankle join).
  • Less than 1 year post-injury.
  • Presence of contraindications for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS):
    • Implanted metal devices in the head (as an intra-cerebral vascular clip or any other electrically sensitive support system).
    • Presence of cardiac pacemaker.
    • Past Medical history of seizures or unexplained spells of loss of consciousness.
    • A history of medication-resistant epilepsy in the family members.


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Study Locations

Burke Medical Research Institute
Building #1
785 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605