PVA Education Foundation Funding Awarded to Dr. Brooke Odle

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Increasing independence and environmental access during transfers using FNS

Dr. Brooke Odle

Congratulations to Brooke Odle, PhD who has received a Paralyzed Veterans of America Education Foundation award titled Feasibility of Neural Stimulation to Facilitate Independent Transfers after Paralysis. Starting in June, the goal of this 1-year, $49,660 project is to determine the feasibility of functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS) to assist independent conventional transfers in persons with low-cervical to low-thoracic spinal injuries.

Bed, chair, or toilet transfers are essential activities of daily living for individuals with paralysis. The conventional transfer method used by most individuals is the sitting pivot transfer, a physically demanding task that uses the upper extremities to lift, rotate, and lower the body onto the target surface. It can cause pain and instability from shoulder muscle weakness and overuse. FNS-assisted transfers may 1) serve as an alternative to conventional transfer techniques, 2) reduce risk of the injury to the shoulders, and 3) promote independent mobility.

Dr. Odle is also a new APT Center Investigator. Check out our website to learn more about Dr. Odle.