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Interview: Is activity-based rehab the key to recovery after spinal cord injury?



Activity-based rehab is still a relatively new therapy, but it holds vast potential in the treatment and recovery of spinal cord injury, says one of the field’s leading experts, Dr Rebecca Martin.

More than 15 million people around the world are thought to be living with a spinal cord injury (SCI), yet advancements in research and treatments have been limited in recent decades.

That could be about to change, with a growing evidence base supporting the use of activity-based rehab for recovering spinal activity following an injury.

One of those spearheading this research is Dr Rebecca Martin, manager of Clinical Education and Training at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) at Kennedy Krieger Institute, and an assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr Martin is conducting studies on the impact of activity-based therapy in combination with transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation (TSCS), with some promising potential, particularly in paediatric patients.

She talks to NR Times about the most promising advancement in neurorehab she has seen in her 18-year career — and why her patients keep her focused on finding better treatments.

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