Investigation of Clinical, Blood, and Neuroimaging Biomarkers as Predictors of Independent Walking Post-stroke

gait analysis image with two women walking side by side
side by side brain imagine

More than half of stroke survivors experience difficulty with walking, contributing to disability, loss of independence, and increased caregiver burden. The long-term repercussions of loss of independent walking, along with limited rehabilitation time and resources, demonstrates an urgent need for advancing prediction of early walking recovery to improve patient-centered care and support discharge planning. The proposed research seeks to elucidate prognostic biomarkers in persons who have had a stroke for predicting walking recovery at 3 months after stroke. Measures will be obtained within the first week after stroke including clinical tests of strength and balance, MRI scans to assess the structural integrity and connectivity of brain pathways important for movement, and blood draws to examine blood markers related to recovery and repair. Early identification of patients with the potential to recover independent walking can allow for tailored interventions to assist recovery and positively effect quality of life.



Project Director

Denise Peters

Denise Peters, PT, D.P.T., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Mentor Team:

Senior Mentor
Marilyn Cipolla, PhD

Senior Mentor
Ira Bernstein, MD

Peer Mentor
Benedek Erdos, MD, PhD

External Mentor
Leonardo Bonilha, MD, PhD