Document Type

Case Report


Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science

Degree Name

DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2017


Laura Frey Law


Background: Neural priming refers to a change in the neurologic system which is induced by a paired, preparatory stimulus. Various priming strategies have been explored, with particular promise for aerobic activity as a safe, low cost, and high-yield option. This concept has been attractive in the field of rehabilitation post neurological insult with the intention to optimize functional recovery through enhanced neuroplasticity. Intervention: In this case study, the patient participated in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise immediately prior to skilled physical therapy 3 times per week for 2 weeks (6 bouts) as a function of his inpatient rehabilitative intervention. Case Description: The patient was a 52-year old male with a recent infarction of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) territory. Setting: The inpatient rehabilitation clinic is an 18-room, hospital-based unit in the Midwest that specializes in neurologic rehabilitation. Patients receive 3 hours of therapy 5 days/week, which is shared between physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Outcome measures: 10 meter walk test (10 MWT), Smart Balance Master (SBM) assessment, video recording, and a clinical assessment of function were documented during this case study. Results: Gait speed, balance, independence with functional mobility, and ambulation tolerance improved during the 2-week period. Purpose: This document describes the administration, barriers, and results of the intervention, which may serve as a valuable reference tool for clinicians, patients, and/or researchers.


Neurologic - Stroke & SCI


8 pages


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