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Reggie Edgerton


Dr. Reggie Edgerton has been studying neuromuscular plasticity for the last five decades. He has been principal investigator of practically all of the funded projects during this time including a NIH program project grant over a 28 year period and a NIBIB grant to develop neural modulatory technologies, epidural stimulation and pharmacological modulation combined with locomotor training over the past 13 years. In the laboratory of Sten Grillner, he was the first to identify the patterns of activity of individual lumbosacral interneurons that could generate locomotor central pattern generation without any alternating input from the brain or peripheral sensory systems (1976). Subsequently, his lab demonstrated that using activity-dependent interventions, he was the first to show that the spinal circuitry of cats with a complete spinal transection could learn and forget specific motor tasks such as stepping and standing. He was the PI of an NIH grant to determine whether spinal epidural stimulation, as used and approved for pain suppression, could also facilitate the recovery of sensory-motor functions in humans that had been completely paralyzed > one year, i.e. longer than was thought to be possible with that severity of a spinal injury. He then developed a non-invasive device that was highly successful in enabling to neuromodulate specific populations of interneurons along the spinal axis to selectively activate different motor pools and thus muscles.

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