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Rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) for major spinal cord injuries: A case study

Rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) for major spinal cord injuries: A case study

Presenter Name:Sean Gilmore

School/Affiliation:Ryerson University

Co-Authors:Fran Copelli, Carmen Dang, Frank A. Russo


Rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) is a well-documented form of rehabilitation for motor impairments. Typically, this therapy asks a patient to synchronize their motor movements to a rhythmic auditory stimulus. One of the theorized mechanisms underlying the efficacy of RAS is the phase-locking of neuronal populations to the rhythmic auditory cue (i.e., neural entrainment). Although RAS has been empirically shown to be effective in Parkinson’s Disease and stroke populations, whether the benefits of RAS extend to patients with spinal cord injuries (SPI) is largely unexplored. This proposed case study aims to examine the efficacy and underlying neural mechanisms of RAS in a quadriplegic patient with near-to-complete spinal cord severance. This longitudinal case study will collect behavioural and neurological data at several time points across RAS therapy. Based on the theorized mechanisms and empirical evidence in other populations with motor impairment, we predict that RAS will improve motor function. We also predict that the motor improvement will correlate with increases in neural entrainment. The results of this study will help inform motor rehabilitation for patients with spinal cord injuries and contribute to the theoretical understanding of RAS. Data collection is currently underway.

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