Ohio State Navbar

Sign In


June 2018 (1)
May 2018 (1)
February 2018 (1)
December 2017 (1)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (6)
May 2017 (1)
March 2017 (6)
January 2017 (1)
December 2016 (1)
November 2016 (3)
October 2016 (3)
September 2016 (1)
August 2016 (4)
July 2016 (5)
June 2016 (9)
May 2016 (8)
March 2016 (2)
February 2016 (4)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (3)
October 2015 (2)
September 2015 (4)
July 2015 (7)
June 2015 (3)
May 2015 (7)
April 2015 (3)
March 2015 (2)
February 2015 (2)
January 2015 (2)
December 2014 (3)
November 2014 (8)
October 2014 (7)
September 2014 (3)
August 2014 (7)
July 2014 (4)
June 2014 (3)
May 2014 (1)
April 2014 (3)
March 2014 (6)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (1)
December 2013 (6)
November 2013 (4)
October 2013 (1)
September 2013 (1)
August 2013 (9)
July 2013 (1)
June 2013 (9)
May 2013 (14)
April 2013 (13)
March 2013 (9)
February 2013 (8)
January 2013 (6)
December 2012 (7)
November 2012 (7)
October 2012 (9)
September 2012 (6)
August 2012 (12)
July 2012 (6)
June 2012 (8)
May 2012 (14)
April 2012 (7)
March 2012 (4)
February 2012 (11)
January 2012 (8)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (7)
October 2011 (9)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (3)
July 2011 (8)
June 2011 (1)
May 2011 (10)
April 2011 (4)
March 2011 (5)
February 2011 (9)
January 2011 (2)
December 2010 (2)
November 2010 (3)
September 2010 (4)
August 2010 (6)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (6)
May 2010 (1)
April 2010 (3)
February 2010 (3)
January 2010 (2)
December 2009 (3)
September 2009 (6)
August 2009 (1)
July 2009 (2)


RSS Feed College of Medicine News

The RehabLab: Giving Hope to People with Stroke  

When asked how he found his way to OSU as the newest faculty member at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Services, Stephen Page, PhD, MS, MOT, quotes John Lennon, saying, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” In Page’s case, those plans included becoming a college swim coach after graduating from the College of Wooster with a communications degree. 

It seemed natural that he would then pursue a masters degree at Ball State University to study exercise science and apply it to athletes.  During this time, though, Page began performing research with Paralympians.  It was this experience that fundamentally reshaped his path, as the feats pf these elite athletes inspired him.  In particular, he began to become interested in how he, as a researcher, could reduce the impact of their impairments. 

With that question as a guiding light, Stephen studied motor learning and control – how people learn and control skilled movements - and then continued his studies as a post doctoral fellow at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey.  At the Kessler Institute – the country’s #2-ranked rehabilitation hospital, Page’s focus narrowed even more, and he gravitated toward stroke rehabilitation, and also began to consider a career in occupational therapy.  He notes, “I loved occupational therapy because it encompasses psychology, development, mental health, physical impairment, technology, health promotion, and the context in which all of these things can conspire to alleviate disability. It’s a sensible approach to considering how the whole individual responds to a disease or disabling condition. .”

The Rehab Lab

Dr. Page joined Ohio State in August 2011 as an associate professor in the Division of Occupational Therapy.  In August, 2012, he completed his occupational therapy studies.  He currently runs the Neuromotor Recovery and Rehabilitation Laboratory – the “Rehab Lab” – at OSU, teaches in the School, performs service to his profession, the community, and the patients and clinicians that he works with.  Patients at the Rehab Lab have experienced strokes, spinal cord injuries or incurred other neurologic diseases. Unlike many labs that focus solely on research, Page is passionate about assuring that the lab maintains a balanced focus on education, service, and research. From an educational and service standpoint, the lab has long been an information source to clinicians, patients, and their families. In fact, the lab won a Healthcare Hero Award from the Cincinnati Business Courier for its work and innovations with the poor and uninsured a few years ago, and other awards from the Ohio Occupational therapy Association and the American Heart Association for such work. Moreover, this summer, the lab will host a national education conference for stroke rehabilitation clinicians called “I-Treat” – the third time it has held this particular conference and the 6th time it has hosted a national conference. Additionally Page regularly presents at stroke support groups as well as providing free “lunch and learns” to local stroke clinicians. “We have a responsibility as both researchers and state employees to regularly and plainly communicate our findings and knowledge to the patients we serve. Too often someone doesn’t qualify for a clinical trial or a clinical pathway and that is the end of the story…if one is willing to take the time, such patient encounters can instead be teachable moments.”   The lab also takes on the traditional – and much needed - function of providing instruction to students of all levels.   Notes Page, “Stroke remains the leading cause of disability and yet efforts continue to focus on prevention and acute care. While important, patients spend a few days in the hospital and the rest of their lives trying to remediate their movement and language deficits. Our students, our clinicians, and our clinical pathways need to recognize this reality, and to consider how we are going to address the needs of this rapidly growing population…working with students to develop and disseminate the best, most effective therapies is one way to begin to address this need.”

The Patient

John Lightner was forced into retirement from farming in October 2009 after suffering a stroke.  The first year of his rehabilitation efforts focused on getting him out of the wheelchair he suddenly needed post-stroke, but did little to help him gain back the use of his right arm and hand.  He tried acupuncture with mixed results and, through the power of Google, found out about Dr. Page’s efforts at the Rehab Lab.

On July 9, 2012, John began his rehabilitation work at the Rehab Lab.  He rehabbed for one hour, three times a week, for ten weeks.  A major component of John’s rehabilitation was what Dr. Page refers to as “mental practice.”  Quite simply, the theory behind mental practice is that patients who physically rehab and mentally envision their rehabilitation efforts have a better chance at recovering lost functions.  Among other “firsts” at the Rehab Lab, they were the first to test this therapy in any neuro-rehabilitative population almost 12 years ago. Currently the work is being funded by the National Institute of Health during a  5 year, two center trial that Page is leading (and of which John is a part).   The upside of mental practice – aside from the hope that it may enhance patient rehabilitation – is that it is non-invasive, cost-effective and a change of pace from other drug-or device-centric therapies that may or may not reduce the effects of John’s disability on daily life. Other “firsts” and examples of this patient-focused work at the RehabLab include portable robotics, non-invasive brain stimulation, modified constraint-induced therapy (an approach that page’s team pioneered and that is now used around the world) and others. 

The Rehab Lab is yet another shining example of the forward-leaning research and people working at OSU.  Dr. Page’s research does not exist in a vacuum; it has spirit and resonates beyond academia, to people like John Lightner.  As John submits, “Dr. Page and his study were a light in an awfully dark world for a stroke victim.  I have a renewed purpose in working on the recovery and a light on the horizon to work towards.  The optimism which Dr. Page re-ignited in me through his caring and expertise is immeasurable.”

Posted on 22-Jan-13 by Geier, Eric
Trackback Url  |  Link to this post | Bookmark this post with: