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Early & intensive SCI-MT trial

The Royal North Shore Hospital

  • Spinal Cord Injury Research Grant
Date Funded:
  • 30 June, 2020
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Professor Lisa Harvey

Project summary

Early and intensive motor training (or usual care) to enhance neurological recovery and function in people with recent spinal cord injury.


What is the issue for NSW?

Paralysis is the most obvious effect of spinal cord injury and affects the abililty to walk, carry out self-care, live independently, and participate in work and leisure. Early and intensive motor training directed at recovery below the level of the spinal cord injury has the potential to promote neurological recovery and make a lasting difference to the lives of people with spinal cord injury.


What does the research aim to do and how?

The aim of the Early and Intensive SCI-MT Trial is to determine the effectiveness of early and intensive motor training on neurological recovery and function in people with spinal cord injury. People who have experienced a spinal cord injury will be randomised soon after injury to receive either usual care of 10-week program of intensive motor training designed to maximise neurological recovery, reduce paralysis and increase function.

This intervention exploits the plasticity of the spinal cord soon after injury. The trial will provide evidence of the effectiveness of an intervention that has the potential to make an immediate and life-long difference to people with a spinal cord injury. If successful, the intervention could be rolled out and implemented into clinical practice. The project involves many collaborators including Sydney’s three spinal injury units and the University of Sydney.