The Effect of Electrically Induced Cycling and Nutritional Counseling On Cardiometabolic Health In Upper and Lower Motor Neuron Chronic Spinal Cord Injury: Dual Case Report

Document Type


Publication Date



Kinesiology and Nutrition


Introduction: Various therapies have been utilized to improve cardiometabolic health after spinal cord injury (SCI), including Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) cycling. Typically, FES is used in SCI cases resulting from the Upper Motor Neuron Injury (UMN-SCI). However, it has been reported that FES may improve muscle torque and functional mobility in individuals with Lower Motor Neuron Injuries (LMN-SCI) but potential effects on cardiometabolic health have not been studied before. Thus, this study examined the cardiometabolic health response to FES cycling combined with nutritional counseling in two individuals with chronic SCI; one person with LMN-SCI and one with UMN-SCI.

Case Presentation: Body composition, vascular stiffness, and glucose deposition were assessed before and after participation in the FES cycling and nutritional counseling program. Despite the decrease in the body mass in the case of LMN-SCI but not UMN-SCI, the fat mass-to-lean mass ratio in the lower limbs and trunk increased +4% and +8% respectively, in the former and decreased -10% and -8% respectively in the latter. Both subjects decreased markers of central vascular stiffness (AIx@75, reflection magnitude) as well as the blood glucose and HbA1c levels, however, the changes were greater in the case of UMN-SCI.

Discussion: This dual case study provides only a partial support for the use of FES cycling alone or in combination with nutritional counseling for improving cardio metabolic health in LMN-SCI, however modest decreases in glucose and vascular stiffness warrant further investigations.

Publication Title

International Journal Neurorehabilitation





First Page


Last Page


Find in your library