Dr. Allison Hyngstrom, associate professor and chair of the Physical Therapy Department in the College of Health Sciences at Marquette University, has received a $2.3 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for stroke research. Hyngstrom is the contact principal investigator on the grant, collaborating with Dr. Matthew Durand, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
The 5-year study, titled “Ischemic Conditioning and Improved Motor Function Post Stroke,” will focus on ischemic conditioning and exercise training as it relates to stroke rehabilitation.
Ischemic conditioning stimulates the neural and cardiovascular response to exercise through transient restriction of blood flow to muscles affected by a stroke.
“We are continually looking for interventions that will help improve patient function after stroke,” Hyngstrom said. “Current therapies only result in modest improvements in walking speed and function. This intervention has the potential to further increase functional gains more rapidly.”
Hyngstrom and Durand will work with people recovering from stroke to measure a number of variables over time, including walking speed, leg muscle strength and respiratory fitness, in order to measure the effectiveness of their intervention. They will also partner with the Neuro Recovery Clinic at Marquette as a place to hold these trials.
“This R01 grant will continue to raise the profile of the Physical Therapy program at Marquette, already the university’s highest ranked full-time academic program,” said Dr. William E. Cullinan, dean of the college of health sciences. “More importantly, Dr. Hyngstrom’s partnership with local colleagues and the resources provided by the new Neuro Recovery Clinic will have important implications for the development of a new treatment for stroke patients.”
NIH is the largest provider of public funds for research in the world, investing more than $32 billion annually to enhance life and reduce illness and disability.