Mécanismes de contrôle et d'adaptation de la marche au niveau spinal avant et après une lésion complète ou partielle de la moelle épinière

Chercheurs boursiers - Junior 1 | Concours 2012-2013

Alain Frigon

Université de Sherbrooke


Domaine : Neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

The detailed patterns and sequences of leg muscle activations during walking are produced by centres within the spinal cord that normally receive commands from the brain and sensory feedback from the periphery. Walking and the control of posture are often impaired after spinal cord injury because the brain is no longer able to activate the spinal centres that often remain undamaged. A major obstacle to repairing spinal cord injuries is our poor understanding of how spinal cord centres control walking while maintaining balance. Although humans do not recover walking following a complete spinal cord injury, studies in animals have shown that locomotor training combined with pharmacological approaches facilitates the recovery of hindlimb locomotion. My research program is designed to understand how centres within the injured spinal cord adapt to the loss of descending signals in a well-defined animal model with and without pharmacological stimulation. My research has direct relevance for developing and refining rehabilitation strategies in human patients with spinal cord injury, and to those interested in understanding the coordination and learning that takes place within the spinal cord.