Reflex conditioning: a new strategy for improving motor function after spinal cord injury.
ABSTRACT Spinal reflex conditioning changes reflex size, induces spinal cord plasticity, and modifies locomotion. Appropriate reflex conditioning can improve walking in rats after spinal cord injury (SCI). Reflex conditioning offers a new therapeutic strategy for restoring function in people with SCI. This approach can address the specific deficits of individuals with SCI by targeting specific reflex pathways for increased or decreased responsiveness. In addition, once clinically significant regeneration can be achieved, reflex conditioning could provide a means of reeducating the newly (and probably imperfectly) reconnected spinal cord.