Spinal cord injury causes severe neurological deficits and often permanent disability through loss of motor function. The lab does projects that look at recovery of function following injury to the central nervous system. This recovery appears to be dependent on factors that include: the severity of the lesion, the type and number of spared descending systems, the type of therapeutic intervention administered and the time at which the intervention is given. The second approach we use to determine effective treatments is to use a rat model of SCI to develop exercise treatments that improve gross locomotion. Present techniques employed within the lab are used to determine the neural mechanisms that govern exercise-induced functional improvements. Our current efforts are aimed at finding a specific rehabilitation focused exercise in an attempt to examine all factors affecting motor recovery. Part of this includes the optimal window at which to begin this exercise. We employ extensive kinematic analysis of behavior, which we correlate to neuroanatomical analyses of the motor unit. Specifically, we determine whether improvement following exercise is accompanied by adaptations of motor neurons in the spinal cord, changes in motor and sensory peripheral nerves as well as alterations in muscle fiber type and size in the affected limbs. The ultimate goal of the lab is to establish effective therapeutic treatments for humans with SCI.
D. Michele Basso, Ed.D., P.T.
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair
Phone: (614) 292-0754
Fax: (614) 292-0210
I am a professor at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for the school of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. I am also the Director of Research for the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences as well as the Associate Director of the School. My background is in physical therapy with a focus in neurology. My research goals are to assess factors that inhibit the ability for individuals to recover from spinal cord injury. Understanding the immune and inflammatory processes after injury are essential to finding the best rehabilitation, and timing of intervention, to combat these inhibitory factors.