Intensive Rehabilitation Trial (1) Results


Unpublished preliminary data is now available from the initial stages of the Spinal Injury Project’s Intensive Rehabilitation Trial.

Researchers at the Clem Jones Institute for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research, led by Professor James St John, have made revolutionary findings. 

The study investigated the impact of an intensive exercise rehabilitation program on five participants with SCI, with the primary goal of evaluating the safety and feasibility of providing long-term rehabilitation programs.

The 26-week program was tailored to each participant’s needs and consisted of on-site rehabilitation for 16 weeks and at-home rehabilitation for 10 weeks. The program was deemed safe and feasible, with all participants completing the program without any serious adverse events. The secondary outcomes of the trial focused on strength and motor function, neurological classification, and psychosocial health.

The results of the trial showed that participants required less assistance to complete various activities of daily living and self-care tasks after completing the rehabilitation program. There was an increase in overall total distance during the 6-minute push test and the Modified functional reach test was higher in 3 out of 4 participants who could participate in this test by the end of the 26-week program. The 5-repetition Maximum strength test showed an increase in values or remained unchanged after the on-site program, but there was some decrease in the weights after the at-home program, which was less intense.

These ground breaking findings have significant implications for addressing the unmet need of understanding the impact of intensive exercise rehabilitation on its own, prior to the application of other therapies for spinal cord injury. 

With 82 people expressing interest in participating in the trial, it is clear that the chronic SCI community is eager to explore new possibilities for rehabilitation programs. These findings have the potential to revolutionise the way we approach SCI rehabilitation and improve the lives of individuals living with chronic spinal cord injury. 

Thank you to our wonderful community for supporting this important part of the preparation for the human clinical trial. With your help the Foundation has fully funded this project at a cost of $450,000.

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