Dr. Susan Harkema’s Epidural Stimulation Technology Featured in “Making Great Strides” Segment; NeuroRTI Offering Locomotor Training Courses Necessary for Pre- and Post-Implant Assistance
The NeuroRecovery Training Institute (NeuroRTI) is proud to announce that founder and faculty member Dr. Susan Harkema, PhD, was featured on NBC’s TODAY Show on January 1, 2015. The segment, which also featured Christopher Reeve Foundation Board Member Matthew Reeve and tetraplegic Kent Stephenson, introduced Dr. Harkema’s groundbreaking research on spinal cord injury and the epidural stimulation program at University of Louisville.
The epidural electronic stimulator, which was implanted next to Stephenson’s lumbar spinal cord in 2009, allows him to voluntarily move his hips, legs and toes, marking the first time stimulation of the human spinal cord has resulted in voluntary activity.
“The spinal cord has a capacity we never thought it had before and the more we learn about it the more we can use that knowledge to help people with paralysis,” said Dr. Harkema.
Physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and rehab technicians who are interested in getting involved with Dr. Harkema’s work can enroll in a number of locomotor training courses through NeuroRTI. Introductory Locomotor Training, Principles and Practice may be taken online, though attendance at one of four weekend onsites in 2015 is necessary for proper training for delivery in clinical practice. Upon completion of the Introductory course, clinicians can continue with Advanced Locomotor Training or Pediatric Locomotor Training.
At a fundamental level, the locomotor training courses teach participants patient evaluation and progression using a body weight support system, retraining on the treadmill, over ground assessment and progression, and community ambulation and activity training, all of which are necessary pre- and post-implant of the epidural stimulator. Teams of therapists and technicians are encouraged to apply and enrollment is limited. Interested applicants will find more information and the ability to register online athttp://www.NeuroRTI.com.
Those who are interested in learning more about the epidural stimulation process or donating to the cause to support the implantation of the device in 36 men and women can visit http://www.reevebigidea.org.