Neuro-rehabilitation

 

Noam Y. Harel, MD, PhD
Associate Professor,
Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Staff Physician
James J. Peters VA Medical Center
(718) 584-9000 ext 1742 noam.harel@va.gov

Dr. Harel is a neurologist and a molecular biologist who joined our clinical research Center in 2011. He obtained his BA, MD, and PhD degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a neurology residency at Columbia University, and first faculty position at Yale University. He is board certified in Adult Neurology, with sub-specialization in Neural Repair and Rehabilitation.
Dr. Harel runs several clinical research studies, staffs the VA’s multidisciplinary Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) clinic, and teaches at our academic affiliate, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.


Program goals
Our goal is simple yet challenging - to improve conscious control over movement of neurologically weakened parts of the body.

The spinal cord is a soft bundle of nerves protected by the bones of the spine. After spinal trauma or disease, many of those nerves can be lost. But in most cases, even in a majority of individuals with complete paralysis, some of the nerve circuits in the spinal cord continue to function across the injury. We hope to strengthen these spared nerve circuits to improve control below the injury.

We approach this challenge using targeted exercises and non-invasive brain and spinal stimulation. These strategies use the principle of ‘Fire Together, Wire Together’: When nearby nerves fire together repeatedly, connections between those nerves strengthen.
We use cutting-edge technology including transcranial magnetic stimulation, cervical electrical stimulation, electromyography, infrared-guided neuronavigation, computerized posturography, and robotic-assisted walking.
Please click here learn more about our studies.


 

Research

Relevant Publications

  1. Harel NY, Strittmatter SM. Can regenerating axons recapitulate developmental guidance during recovery from spinal cord injury? Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 Aug;7(8):603-616.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16858389

  1. Harel NY, Song KH, Tang X, Strittmatter SM. Nogo receptor deletion and multimodal exercise improve distinct aspects of recovery in cervical spinal cord injury. J Neurotrauma. 2010 Nov;27(11):2055-2066. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20809785

 

  1. Harel NY, Yigitkanli K, Fu Y, Cafferty WB, Strittmatter SM. Multimodal Exercises Simultaneously Stimulating Cortical and Brainstem Pathways after Unilateral Corticospinal Lesion. Brain research 2013, 1538:17-25.
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24055330

 

  1. Harel NY, Asselin PK, Fineberg DB, Pisano TJ, Bauman WA, Spungen, AM. Adaptation of Computerized Posturography to Assess Seated Balance in Persons with Spinal Cord Injury. J Spinal Cord Med. 2013, 36:127-33.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23809527

 

  1. Harel NY, Martinez SA, Knezevic S, Asselin PK, Spungen AM. Acute changes in soleus H-reflex facilitation and central motor conduction after targeted physical exercises. J. Electromyogr. Kinesiol. 2015, 25(3):438-43. 
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25771437


    Harel NY, Carmel JB. Paired stimulation to promote lasting augmentation of corticospinal circuits. Neural Plasticity 2016, epub Oct 9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27800189


    *Theriault ET, *Huang VH, Whiteneck G, Dijkers MP, Harel NY. Antispasmodic medications may be associated with reduced recovery during inpatient rehabilitation after traumatic spinal cord injury. J Spinal Cord Med. 2016, Epub Nov 14.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27841095


    *Martinez SA, *Nguyen ND…. Harel NY. Multimodal cortical and subcortical exercise compared with treadmill training for spinal cord injury. Submitted.