The Rehabilitation Science program selected PhD student, Sarah Skinner, and recent alumna, Dr. Kanika Bansal, for Outstanding Manuscript Awards.
Kanika Bansal was selected for her excellent clinical paper “Spatiotemporal strategies adopted to walk at fast speed in high- and low-functioning individuals post-stroke: a cross-sectional study.” This manuscript tested the hypothesis that low-functioning individuals post-stroke would be limited in modifying their spatiotemporal gait parameters for walking at faster-than-preferred speed, compared to high-functioning individuals. A limitation in stroke rehabilitation is that therapists often “treat all patients post-stroke the same,” neglecting to recognize differential ability in this population. Dr. Bansal’s work provides an important contribution to the physical therapy profession as she empirically demonstrated participants’ post-stroke should not be treated all the same and that they respond differentially to task demands. The results presented in this manuscript also demonstrated the role balance self-efficacy (fear of falling) plays in one’s ability to increase their walking speed.
Sarah Skinner was selected for her oustanding basic science paper “Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Causes Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species- and Caspase 3-Dependent Atrophy of Single Adult Mouse Skeletal Muscle Fibers.” Her work describes a novel mechanism by which mitochondria can cause muscle fibers to undergo atrophy. The significance of the work is very high because muscle atrophy occurs in many conditions (e.g., aging, forced bedrest following illness or injury, cancer, chronic kidney disease, a wide variety of neurological diseases such as ALS and Pompe Disease) and leads to exacerbated health outcomes. The results identify mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) as an upstream mechanism of established muscle atrophy signaling and one that appears to be the primary mechanism driving atrophy in disuse/denervation atrophy.
Congratulations on these well-deserved awards!