Repurposing Acute Therapies for Enhanced Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury


The fundamental premise of the proposed study challenges this notion: we contend that pain and/or pain medications impact motor recovery and that motor deficits impact pain. Because of the complex relationship between movement and pain, interventions to manage pain might be repurposed to enhance motor outcomes and, vice versa, interventions intended to improve motor outcomes may relieve pain. Our specific aims are to determine whether: 1) pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions used to manage neuropathic pain increase recovery of muscle strength and 2) rehabilitation interventions targeting motor recovery can be repurposed to relieve neuropathic pain. The primary pharmacological focus is anticonvulsants, a front-line treatment for neuropathic pain. Non-pharmacological approaches include transcranial direct current stimulation and locomotor training. Coordinated by Dr. John Kramer at ICORD (International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries, University of British Columbia), the Consortium will include five leading spinal cord injury centres spanning two continents and four countries (Canada, Germany, and Spain plus an in-kind contribution from Switzerland). Experimental approaches incorporate statistical analysis of existing data resources (Drs. Curt and Kramer, Switzerland and Canada, respectively), work in rodent models (Dr. Bradke, Germany), and translational clinical investigations in humans (Drs. Mercier and Soler, Quebec, Canada and Spain, respectively).


Pharmacology, recovery, Clinical trial, pain, Behavioural methodologies, pregabalin, regeneration

Call topic

External Insults

Proposed runtime

2017 - 2021

Project team

John Kramer (Coordinator)
Canada (CIHR)
Armin Curt
Switzerland (Own funds)
Frank Bradke
Germany (BMBF)
Catherine Mercier
Canada (FRQS)
Soler Dolors
Spain (ISCIII)