Transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation combined with locomotor training to improve walking ability in people with chronic spinal cord injury: study protocol for an international multi-centred double-blinded randomised sham-controlled trial (eWALK)

Elizabeth A. Bye, Martin E. Héroux, Claire L. Boswell-Ruys, Monica A. Perez, Mariel Purcell, Julian Taylor, Bonsan B. Lee, Euan J. McCaughey, Jane E. Butler, Simon C. Gandevia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study design: An international multi-centred, double-blinded, randomised sham-controlled trial (eWALK). Objective: To determine the effect of 12 weeks of transcutaneous spinal stimulation (TSS) combined with locomotor training on walking ability in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Setting: Dedicated SCI research centres in Australia, Spain, USA and Scotland. Methods: Fifty community-dwelling individuals with chronic SCI will be recruited. Participants will be eligible if they have bilateral motor levels between T1 and T11, a reproducible lower limb muscle contraction in at least one muscle group, and a Walking Index for SCI II (WISCI II) between 1 and 6. Eligible participants will be randomised to one of two groups, either the active stimulation group or the sham stimulation group. Participants allocated to the stimulation group will receive TSS combined with locomotor training for three 30-min sessions a week for 12 weeks. The locomotor sessions will include walking on a treadmill and overground. Participants allocated to the sham stimulation group will receive the same locomotor training combined with sham stimulation. The primary outcome will be walking ability with stimulation using the WISCI II. Secondary outcomes will record sensation, strength, spasticity, bowel function and quality of life. Trial registration: ANZCTR.org.au

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-497
Number of pages7
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume60
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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