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People with a complete Spinal Cord Injury below T6 are needed for our research trial:

tRESTORE: A trial being conducted by researchers at University of New South Wales aiming to restore touch sensation below the level of injury

Currently recruiting

Recently we have discovered that around 50% of individuals with a complete spinal cord injury have some surviving spinal nerve fibres across the injury site.

When these individuals (labelled as having a ‘discomplete’ SCI) are touched below their level of injury, even though they cannot feel the touch, the touch information is forwarded to the brain through these surviving fibres. The signal that reaches the brain can be detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

In this trial, you will interact with a virtual reality walking game, and control your virtual legs to walk in the virtual world. When you walk virtually your brain interprets this as actual walking, thus activating the part of the brain that controls sensation and movement.  At the same time as you are walking virtually, we will provide additional input by applying walking type light pressure to the soles of your feet using a foot massager device.  We will simultaneously apply stimulation to your spine to increase the excitability of the surviving nerve fibres to help the touch signals reach the brain in an effort to restore sensation.

Participation in this trial involves:

  • Having an MRI to determine if you have evidence of signal in brain areas in response to touch below the injury level

  • Attending the NeuroRecovery Research Hub at UNSW once a day for 20 days over a 4-to-5-week period to participate in the treatment sessions.

The treatment sessions will include:

  •  20 mins of stimulation to your spinal nerves (via electrodes taped to your spine) to set a comfortable level of stimulation intensity for the treatment sessions, followed by:

  •  20 mins of stimulation while you play the virtual reality walking game and simultaneously receive touch input through the soles of your feet.

  • Completing online questionnaires at 2 timepoints

 

To register your interest, please complete and submit the form. The research team will contact you as soon as possible.

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Register your interest

Type of Spinal Cord Injury?
Do you have neuropathic (nerve) pain below or at your level of injury?
Do you consent for us to keep your details in our secure, password protected database and we will contact you to see if you are interested in other trials we conduct? Your details will only be accessible by researchers from the NeuroRecovery Research Hub and will not be shared with anyone else.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our research team: neurorecoveryresearch@unsw.edu.au

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