U of L finds benefits to activity-based training for SCI

Posted by Reeve Staff in Research News on February 01, 2018 # Research, Mobility

*Courtesy of our partners at the University of Louisville:

Charles Hubscher, Ph.D., professor and researcher at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (KSCIRC) at the University of Louisville, has unveiled new research that addresses the potential impact and benefits of activity-based training for Charles Hubscher, Ph.D.individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI). The research was published yesterday on PLOS ONE. Researchers noted that the training resulted in improved motor function as well as a range of autonomic improvements, including bowel and bladder function.

"Patients with spinal cord injury say they are most concerned by the problems associated with bladder function," Hubscher said in the press release. "These issues contribute heavily to a decline in their quality of life and impacts overall health."

Hubscher split the group of 12 participants into two groups. Eight “active participants” received 80 daily sessions of locomotor training, with a rotating schedule of standing training. The participants were monitored through urodynamics and surveys to document the change in their bladder control and other functions. The other four participants did not receive training. After the 80 days of training, the active individuals were found to store significantly more urine at safer pressures, reported fewer incidents of nighttime voiding and reduced general incontinence, as well as improved bowel functioning and increased sexual desire.

"Today's published research indicates that activity-based training strengthens the neural circuits that control urogenital and bowel functions," Hubscher also said in the release. "We hope to further validate those findings by determining if the improvements can lead to elimination of related medications and/or long-term reduction in the number of daily catheterizations. In addition, we are evaluating the effects of spinal cord epidural stimulation on those circuitries."

Read the full press release here.