The eWALK trial – Clinical trial participants needed

The eWALK trial – Clinical trial participants needed

Researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia are seeking VOLUNTEER RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS to study the effects of 12 weeks of electrical spinal cord stimulation applied over the skin combined with walking training in people with incomplete spinal cord injury.

This clinical trial was instigated and is funded by SpinalCure. Additional funding has been gratefully received by our New Zealand partners, CatWalk and our friends at SCIA.

The eWALK Trial: Transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation combined with locomotor training to improve walking ability in people with chronic incomplete spinal cord injury: a multi-centre double-blinded randomised sham-controlled trial

Would the research project be a good fit for me?

The study might be a good fit for you if:

  • you are aged 16 years or older
  • have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury between the levels of T1 and T11 at least 1 year ago
  • you are willing and able to participate in a training program three times a week for 12 weeks
  • you are able to take a few steps, up to 10m, within parallel bars with the assistance of two people or less
  • able to voluntarily produce a muscle flicker/contraction in at least one of the muscles that flexes or extends the hip, knee, ankle or big toe on either side of your body

and you DO NOT have any of the following:

  • a history of clinically significant autonomic dysreflexia
  • cannot tolerate spinal stimulation at a therapeutic intensity
  • experience of hypotension in response to prolonged standing
  • severe lower limb spasticity or contracture
  • any other brain or nervous system disorder or cancer
  • pregnant or think you might be pregnant
  • a history of epilepsy
  • any metal implants in your head or any electronic implants in your head or body
  • an upper limb injury preventing prolonged weight beating through your arms
  • are not able to give informed consent

What would happen if I took part in the research project?

  • you would visit Neuroscience Research Australia, Randwick 3 times per week over a 12‑week period and once at 16-weeks for a follow-up assessment.
  • you would receive electrical stimulation of your spinal cord administered using gel electrodes placed on your back and stomach for 30 minutes
  • while receiving the stimulation you will undergo walking training with one physiotherapist and up to two assistants, each session could last for up to 60 minutes
  • you would undergo clinical assessments of walking and spasticity with and without stimulation before, during and after the 12 week training program
  • you would also undergo assessments of lower extremity strength and non-invasive assessments of brain and spinal cord excitability with and without the stimulation

Will I be paid to take part in the research project?

You will be offered $20/hour for your commitment of time. We will provide travel cost reimbursements or taxi vouchers for your travel to Neuroscience Research Australia.


Who do I contact if I want more information or want to take part in the study?

For Sydney:

Name: Dr Martin Héroux Dr Claire Boswell-Ruys
Email: [email protected] [email protected]
Phone: 02 9399 1822 02 9399 1887

To enquire about volunteering for the Melbourne trial site please contact Prof Gavin Williams: [email protected]