Spinal Stimulation vs ​Functional Electrical Stimulation and Neuroplasticity

There is increasing evidence that neuroplastic changes can occur even years after spinal cord injury (SCI), leading to reduced disability and better health, which should reduce the cost of healthcare. Extensive literature over several decades supports the use of electrical stimulation to restore function after complete or incomplete SCI, which may be in the form of implanted or transcutaneous nerve stimulation or functional electrical stimulation. In recent years, the application of electrical stimulation to the spinal cord (spinal cord stimulation) in the SCI population has gained considerable momentum, due to remarkable early reports from at least four independent labs. Immediate recovery of volitional motor function has been reported in the presence of spinal cord stimulation in people with complete and incomplete SCI. This recovery is reported to improve progressively over several months of treatment, with concomitant beneficial effects on autonomic functions, such as bladder and bowel function. This seminar will compare these different forms of electrical stimulation, with a particular focus on lower limb function and bladder and bowel function. We consider the importance of electrode location, stimulation parameters and volitional drive, with a view to optimise the clinical application of electrical stimulation to improve health after SCI.
This webinar took place in the past. You may watch it online.


Maggie Donovan-Hall

Dr. Lynsey Duffell

Dr. Lynsey Duffell is a Clinical Scientist and an Associate Professor within the Department of Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering at University College London. Her research aims to improve health and quality of life for people with long standing health conditions, with a particular focus on neuromodulation combined with activity-based therapy for neuroplastic recovery after Spinal Cord
Injury (SCI). Dr Duffell has a long-standing interest in Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) cycling, which was the focus of her PhD and early post-doctoral work, and she is now co-PI on a study
investigating a novel form of FES cycling, which provides biofeedback of motor function using virtual reality. She has also been PI and Co-I on clinical trials investigating the potential benefits of transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) and Dorsal Genital Nerve Stimulation (DGNS) in people with chronic SCI. Dr Duffell’s research lab forms part of the Aspire Centre for Rehabilitation
Engineering and Assistive Technology (CREATe) and the London Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre,
based at the RNOH in Stanmore.

Sean Doherty

Dr. Sean Doherty

Dr. Sean Doherty's research interests are in the restoration of function, or alleviation of symptoms, following Spinal Cord Injury. He particularly focuses on bladder and bowel dysfunction and the use of non-invasive electrical stimulation systems. Further to this he is interested in the development of devices for the measurement of bladder activity and in the translation of our work into available medical devices.

His current research aim is to develop a method of restoring control over urinary and faecal continence following Spinal Cord Injury.

Dr. Doherty has an academic background as Doctor of Philosophy (2019, University College London) and Master of Engineering (Honours) from Cardiff University (2015)..


Prof. DDr. Winfried Mayr,  Associate Professor, Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medizinische Universität Wien, Austria

December 6th, 2021 12:00 PM through  1:00 PM
Event Fee
IFESS members €0.00
Non-IFESS members (approx. £ 5.64 and $ 7.85) €6.50