UAB Index of Motor Recovery
Principal Investigator Name
Victor W. Mark, M.D.
Principal Investigator Email
Men and women of all races who are at least 19 years of age. Acute SCI individuals wh are 72 to 28 hours post injury; Chronic SCI individuals who are 3 or mroe years post injury.
Outcome measures that are sensitive to motor changes that would normally occur over time in SCI, in addition to changes in strength that would occur as a result of a clinical intervention, do not currently exist. The lack of valid outcome measures for time-dependent SCI recovery has been especially evident in many pharmaceutical trials in which UAB researchers have participated. Thus, the accurate documentation of increases in motor recovery with an individual treatment will be an important prelude to developing combination therapies. The purpose of this study is to evaluate a muscle testing measurement tool to look for any voluntary action of a lower extremity muscle groups following a spinal cord injury. The assessment tool was designed to document the presence and/or return of any movement of a lower extremity muscle group that has a specific action. It is based on the presence of voluntary muscle contraction and not on muscle strength. It evaluates only lower extremity muscle group action (MGA) so it is practical to use for persons with paraplegia or tetraplegia.
In the uninjured spinal cord, there are descending neural tracts that ultimately synapse with many spinal cord alpha motor neuron segments that innvervate several muscle groups. The measurement tool designed for this study takes into account that following an incomplete SCI there is partial damage to the descending neural tracts. So, as potential neural recovery occurs, the first sign of this recovery may be traces of muscle function as the neural circuitry resumes. This outcome measure takes into account that the degree of neural recovery is not only patient specific but also time dependent.