FSL - Lab Riabilitazione Lesioni Midollari (SPIRE)

Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Lab (SPIRE)

Areas of Investigation 

The Laboratory of Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation studies the neurological and functional outcomes of patients with spinal cord injuries and their factors. It also carries out research into the development of methods for measuring clinical efficacy of experimental methods applied to the care of spinal cord injury.


Non Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Research of patients with spinal cord injury considers such still controversial topics in the scientific community, such as the effects of age and rehabilitation time compared to the effectiveness of the therapy. This field of study is all the more important, given the advancing median age of the population, which has experienced an increase in non-traumatic spinal cord injury. Compared to patients who have suffered traumatic injuries, this second group has more often incomplete and cervical lesions, an older median age and often comorbid, i.e. disorders of different origin in addition to spinal cord injury. All these factors also have influence on rehabilitative therapy. Laboratory research is focused on the follow-up of non-traumatic injuries, providing useful data for research and healthcare planning.


Measuring the "Outcome"

The objective scientific evaluation of the effectiveness of rehabilitation therapy is the goal of the Laboratory research dedicated to the development of reliable and repeatable measurement scales. The Laboratory has already helped to develop and validate two scales: the Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury (WISCI) and the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM). The first assesses the degree of autonomy in the way, reached by the patient through therapy. The second scale evaluates patient autonomy in carrying out activities of daily living.

Additionally, the research activities of the Laboratory are dedicated to the Minimal Clinically Important Difference (MCID). As a rule, the effectiveness of new therapies is evaluated in an experimental stage only on the basis of statistical values. The MCID expands this model such that we can analyze the results of rehabilitation treatments from the patient's point of view. Their effectiveness is in this case measured in terms of substantial improvement in his quality of life and state of health.

  • European Multicenter Spinal Cord Injury Study Group
  • International Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Study Group
  • Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center, Raanana (Israel)
  • Spinal Cord Outcome Partnership Endeavor ,Tel Aviv University, Raanana (Israel)
  • Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia (United States)
Ongoing Research Projects 
  • Valutazione dell’outcome dei pazienti mielolesi attraverso la prospettiva dei pazienti: un nuovo modo di guardare al miglioramento
  • Studio delle barriere al ricovero e alla dimissione riabilitativa dei pazienti mielolesi
  • European Multicenter Study about Spinal Cord Injury
  • Symbitron (Symbiotic Man machine interaction for human-machine interface)

Laboratory of Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation (SPIRE)

Fondazione Santa Lucia Irccs

Via Ardeatina, 354 – 00179 Rome