Neuromuscular physiology and motor learning; Biomechanics and gait analysis; Electrical stimulation of paralyzed muscles to restore function; Rehabilitation engineering; Pathological locomotion.
During his postdoctoral fellowship in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Thrasher designed a research program in which he developed a new neuroprosthesis for walking therapy in people with chronic spinal cord injury. The neuroprosthesis has been used in a 16-week regimen of treadmill walking by over 24 patients. 80% of subjects experienced dramatic improvements in walking function. The efficacy of this intervention is now being tested in a randomized control trial at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute by a multidisciplinary team that Dr. Thrasher assembled to look at all aspects of the treatment from bone health to psychosocial factors. The intervention is also being extended to rehabilitation of hemiplegia due to stroke.
Recent Publications and Research Activity
Workman CD, Thrasher TA. Validity and reliability of two reachable workspace protocols using subjects with stroke. [June 2015: Submitted to JRRD]
Lee B-C, Thrasher TA, Fisher S, Layne CS. The effects of different sensory augmentation on weight-shifting balance exercises in Parkinson’s disease and age-matched healthy elderly individuals. [August 2015: Accepted for publication in JNER]
Lee B-C, Thrasher TA, Martin BJ, Layne CS. The effect of vibrotactile cuing on recovery strategies from a treadmill-induced trip. [March 2015: Submitted to IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering]
Thrasher TA, Fisher S. Muscle activation signals during Parkinson’s Disease gait are more rhythmic than normal. [November 2014: Submitted to J Parkinson Dis]
Thrasher TA, Fisher S. Changes in muscle coordination following Robot-Assisted Gait Training in hemiparetic stroke. J Novel Physiotherapies 2014; 4(4):1-3.
Thrasher TA, Fisher S. Societal Costs of Intrathecal Drug Delivery Systems-An Administrative Analysis Based on Patient Claims. Neuromodulation 2013; 16(3):261-265.
Thrasher TA, Ward JS, Fisher S. Changes in exercise capacity during a 13-week regimen of functional electrical stimulation leg cycling. NeuroRehabilitation 2013; 33(1):133-8.
Miyatani M, Masani K, Kawashima N, Craven BC, Thrasher TA, Popovic MR. Exercise Intensity during Treadmill Walking with Gait Patterned FES among Patients with Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: Case Series. ISRN Rehabilitation 2012, Article ID 251750, 6 pages.
Uzun S, Purmoghaddam A, Hieronymus M, Thrasher TA. Evaluation of Muscle Fatigue of Wheelchair Basketball Players with Spinal Cord Injury using Recurrence Quantification Analysis of Surface EMG. Eur J Appl Physiol 2012; 112(11):3847-3857.
Bryant MS, Pourmoghaddam A, Thrasher TA. Gait changes with walking devices in persons with Parkinson’s Disease. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol 2012; 7(2):149-52.
Vette AH, Yoshida T, Thrasher TA, Masani K, Popovic MR. A Comprehensive three-dimensional dynamic model of the human head and trunk for estimating lumbar and cervical joint torques and forces from upper body kinematics. Medical Engineering & Physics 2012; 34(5):640-649.
Thrasher TA, Ward JS, Fisher S. Classification of rhythmic locomotor patterns in electromyographic signals using fuzzy sets. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2011; 8:65.
Vette AH, Yoshida T, Thrasher TA, Masani K, Popovic MR. A Complete, non-lumped, and verifiable set of upper body segment parameters for three-dimensional dynamic modeling. Medical Engineering & Physics 2011; 33(1):70-79.
Fisher S, Lucas L, Thrasher TA. Robot-assisted gait training for patients with hemiparesis due to stroke. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation 2011; 18(3):269-276.
Thrasher TA, Sin VW, Masani K, Vette AH, Craven BC, Popovic MR. Kinematic responses of the trunk to multidirectional perturbations during unsupported sitting. Journal of Applied Biomechanics 2010; 26(3):332-40.
Masani K, Sin VH, Vette AH, Thrasher TA, Kawashima N, Morris A, Preuss R, Popovic MR. Postural reactions of the trunk muscles to multidirectional perturbations in sitting. Clin Biomech 2009; 24(2):176-82.
Miller RC, Popovic MR, Thrasher TA, Verrier M. Functional electrical stimulation therapy improves grasping in chronic cervical spinal cord injury: two case studies. Journal of Automatic Control 2008; 18(2):53-61.
Chi L, Masani K, Miyatani M, Thrasher TA, Johnston KW, Mardimae A, Kessler C, Fisher JA, Popovic MR. Cardiovascular Response to Functional Electrical Stimulation and Dynamic Tilt Table Therapy to Improve Orthostatic Tolerance. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2008; 18(6):900-907.
Thrasher TA, Zivanovic V, McIlroy W, Popovic MR. Rehabilitation of reaching and grasping function in severe hemiplegic patients using Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2008; 22(6):706-714.
Thrasher TA, Popovic MR. Functional Electrical Stimulation of walking: Function, exercise and rehabilitation. Ann Readapt Med Phys 2008; 51(6):452-60.
Márquez C, Popovic MR, Thrasher TA, Cameron T, Lozano A, Chen R. Identification of arm movements using correlation of electrocorticographic spectral components and kinematic recordings. J Neural Eng 2007; 4:146-158.
Steele CM, Thrasher TA, Popovic MR. Stimulation approaches to the restoration and rehabilitation of swallowing: A review. Neurological Research 2007; 29:9-15.
Graham GM, Thrasher TA, Popovic MR. The Effect of Random Modulation of Functional Electrical Stimulation Parameters on Muscle Fatigue. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering 2006; 14(1):38-45.
Popovic MR, Thrasher TA, Adams ME, Takes V, Zivanovic V, Tonack MI. Functional electrical therapy: Retraining grasping in spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord 2006; 44(3):143-151.
Thrasher TA, Flett HM, Popovic MR. Gait training regimen for incomplete spinal cord injury using functional electrical stimulation. Spinal Cord 2006; 44(6):357-361.
Steele CM, Thrasher TA, Popovic MR. Stimulation approaches to the restoration and rehabilitation of swallowing: A review. Neurological Research. [Accepted for publication Dec. 6, 2005.]
Thrasher TA, Graham GM, Popovic MR. Reducing muscle fatigue due to Functional Electrical Stimulation using random modulation of stimulation parameters, Artificial Organs 2005; 29(6):453-458.
Popovic MR, Thrasher TA, Zivanovic V, Takaki J, Hajek V. Neuroprosthesis for retraining reaching and grasping functions in severe hemiplegic patients, Neuromodulation 2005; 8(1):58-72.
Thrasher TA, Popovic MR. Electrical stimulation and neuroprostheses for restoring swallowing function, Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) June 2004; 13(2):28-31.
Popovic MR, Thrasher TA. Neuroprostheses, In: Encyclopedia of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering [eds.: Wnek GE, Bowlin GL], Marcel Dekker, New York, July, 2004, pp. 1056-1065.
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at University of Alberta, 1994
Ph.D. in Medical Sciences at University of Alberta, 2002