New research from The Ohio State University suggests that treadmill training soon after a spinal cord injury can have long-lasting positive effects on recovery – as long as the training is accompanied by efforts to control inflammation in the lower spinal cord.
The study, in animals, also is among the first to show that spinal cord injuries can create impairments in parts of the cord located many spine segments away from the trauma site.
“We got positive and negative effects with the same intervention, and it’s all influenced by inflammation,” said Prof. D. Michele Basso, senior author of the study. “There’s so much happening so far away from the injury, and it’s all in the heart of where the neural circuits are for locomotion. … The opportunity is there to begin to think about doing this in humans.” Basso said.
The research is published in the Aug. 7, 2013, issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.