ABLE Program: The Research
Neuro Recovery Research
Courage Center Golden Valley is one of five community-based fitness and wellness facilities in the United States participating in the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network (NRN). This cooperative network of cutting-edge rehabilitation centers was designed to provide and develop therapies to promote functional recovery and improve the health and quality of life of people living with paralysis. Learn more about the NRN.
The interventions that are the basis of the ABLE program came from the expertise and research developed at hospital-based centers participating in the NRN. These interventions help to maintain bone and muscle mass and are vital for the general health of people with spinal cord injuries.
Evidence is mounting that certain forms of rehabilitation also promote beneficial changes in the spinal cord itself and markedly improve function. For example, new training regimens based on repetitive treadmill stepping and gradually increased weight bearing may actually promote regeneration of nerve axons and "teach" the spinal cord below the injury to activate the muscles needed for walking and standing.
The Reeve Foundation supports both laboratory and clinical research devoted to testing and perfecting new approaches to rehabilitation and to exploring the links between them and beneficial changes in the damaged cord and improvements in the health and functioning of people with spinal cord injuries. Learn more about areas of research from the Reeve Foundation.
What results can I expect? What long-term improvements to my health will this program provide? (Taken from the Reeve Foundation website)
A range of results and health improvements are reported in the scientific literature; others are beginning to emerge as we apply this therapy to human patients. What we know is that results will vary from person to person. No two people will respond in exactly the same way, nor is each person likely to experience the entire range of possible changes and improvements.
This program may contribute to:
improved cardiovascular and pulmonary function
increased strength and sensation
improved blood flow to the arms and legs
improved healing potential of the skin
increased bone density
improved bladder function
Functional results among NRN participants have ranged from improved trunk stability to recovery of standing and stepping ability.