I have posted a number of studies in the Research Forums that people might be interested in from exercise point of view.

1. Hicks, et al. (2003) reported the effects of twice-weekly exercise for 9 months on 34 people with chronic spinal cord injury. They find that the exercise significantly reduced pain, stress, and depression. The people who trained also reported higher perceived satisfaction with their physical function and overall quality of life, compared to a control group of people who did not train.

2. Gillete & Hartman (2003) reported using functional neuromuscular stimulation help make the transition from sitting to standing. They found that ramped stimulation of the vastus lateralis and semimebranosus muscles reduces peak vertical arm support forces from 91% to 42%. This work is being carried out at Iowa State University in Ames.

3. Pepin, et al. (2003) report that limitations of the ability of people to walk at faster treadmill speeds is a result of their inability to increase stride length and stride frequency. This is interesting an important because both of these may be correctable with electrical stimulation either to the muscles or to the spinal cord.

4. Eser, et al. (2003) report that FES cycling during the early phase after spinal cord injury does not prevent or reverse bone loss. It is not clear that this is true of chronic spinal cord injury. But, this study is very likely to be used by insurance companies to be evidence against the need for early use of FES-cycling after spinal cord injury.

5. Bickel, et al. (2003). Electrical stimulation of muscle has long been believed to be able to prevent and reverse muscle atrophy in spinal cord injury. While some data suggest that such stimulation will increase muscle bulk, it is not clear what other effects it may have. These authors from the Shepard Center report that acute bouts of resistance exercise stimulate molecular responses in the muscles of people with chronic SCI and that the systems that regulate these molecular responses are intact even extended periods of inactivity.

6. Hartkopp, et al. (2003). Most studies of muscle training have focussed on the legs. This study examines the effects of training on wrist extensor muscles in people with SCI. The muscles were stimulated for 30 min/day, 5 days/week, for 12 weeks on one hand and compared against the other non-stimulated hand. One protocol used high-resistance and the other protocol used low-resistance training. Both reduced fatigue resistance of the muscle but only the high-resistance training improved the strength of the extensors.