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TUE 1 NOV // 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM


Primary Content Focus:  Neurodegenerative disease (e.g., MS, Parkinson’s disease)
Secondary Content Focus:  Spinal Cord Injury, Clinical practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP), Stroke

This instructional course will present evidence supporting the use of functional electrical stimulation (FES) interventions to decrease impairment and improve function in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), spinal cord injury (SCI) and stroke. Presenters will provide suggestions for successful translation of evidence-based principles into clinical practice for effective use of FES interventions for these populations. Finally, a hands-on lab session will introduce attendees to various FES devices and provide instruction on how to manage the parameters of the FES devices to elicit the greatest response and positive outcomes, in people with MS, PD, SCI and stroke.


  1. Discuss the evidence and rationale for use of functional electrical stimulation (FES) rehabilitation interventions for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinsons Disease (PD) and spinal cord injury (SCI)
  2. Describe unique considerations for use of FES interventions in people with MS, PD, SCI, or strokeDefine the parameters that can be modified to facilitate the greatest response during FES cycling
  3. Demonstrate the ability to adjust parameters on the FES interventions present at the lab session
  4. Describe three ways they can immediately apply what they learn from this course in the clinic


  • Rehabilitation
  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injury



Deborah BackusDeborah Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM
Director of Multiple Sclerosis Research, Shepherd Center

Dr. Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM is Director of Multiple Sclerosis Research at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BS in physical therapy in 1986, and her PhD in neuroscience in 2004.  She has combined her experiences as a physical therapist, researcher and educator to empower people with neurological injury or disease, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and spinal cord injury (SCI), to attain the highest quality of life possible. Her research in the Eula C. and Andrew C. Carlos MS Rehabilitation and Wellness Program at Shepherd Center is focused on the evaluation of rehabilitation interventions to facilitate greater function and health in people who are progressing in disability due to MS. As Director of MS Research, Dr. Backus is also responsible for establishing the procedures for standardized outcome collection in the MS Institute at Shepherd Center in order to evaluate the system of care for people with MS. This requires a sound understanding of evaluation tools in order to choose those that will garner the most information with the least amount of burden on the clinician and the patient. Dr. Backus works closely with clinicians to facilitate both the adoption of standardized outcome measures in the MS program and the translation of evidence related to technology and rehabilitation interventions, with the goal of advancing clinical care and contributing to the body of evidence related to MS rehabilitation. Dr. Backus is currently funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.


Gad Alon, PT, PhD
Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland School of Medicine


Jeffrey Hebert, PT, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Department of Neurology; Director, Balance Performance Laboratory, University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine


Lori Hochman, PT, MS, NCS
Clinical Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University

Ms. Hochman received her BS from Tulane University with a major in Psychology in 1994 and a BS/MS in Physical Therapy from from Long Island University in 1998. Upon entering the profession, she worked at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, NY treating patients recovering from a wide variety of neurological and orthopedic impairments. She spent several years as the Senior PT on the Brain Injury Unit before becoming the Rehabilitation Supervisor of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit.  In 2006 Ms. Hochman became a board certified Neurological Clinical Specialist from the American Physical Therapy Association. Combining clinical excellence with her interest in teaching, Ms. Hochman served as an adjunct professor at NYIT in Old Westbury for 7 years prior to her current faculty position at Stony Brook University.  Presently, Ms. Hochman is a Clinical Assistant Professor and is involved in teaching the neurological track of the curriculum and participates as a faculty mentor in the case study courses. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Physical Therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She is working on her dissertation titled “Effects of Functional Electrical Stimulation Cycling versus Cycling Only on Walking Performance and Quality of Life in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study.”  Ms. Hochman has held several positions and participated in several events locally and at the state level of the New York Physical Therapy Association including: Long Island District Chapter Director, Vice Chair, Membership Liaison, and Delegate to the NYPTA Delegate Assembly.


Christina Burke, PT
Clinical Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University

Dr. Burke received her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from Ithaca College in 1985, and went on to receive her Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Queens College and her t-DPT from Touro College. Dr. Burke worked at NYU Medical Center/Rusk Institute where she gained diverse experience in acute care, inpatient, and outpatient settings. Dr. Burke assisted in the development of the outpatient vestibular department and later became the supervisor in the inpatient adult rehab department at Rusk Institute.
Dr. Burke has been an adjunct professor at both LIU and Touro College’s physical therapy programs. She received her NDT adult certification in 1987 and her certificate of competency in Vestibular Rehabilitation in 2001. In 2013 she became a board certified Neurological Clinical Specialist from the American Physical Therapy Association.

Dr. Burke continues working in the clinical setting, specializing in balance and vestibular dysfunction, multiple sclerosis and PD. She has been involved in several multi-center research projects including the RACE trial evaluating slip/trip training in geriatric fallers and the Instride Study which compared functional electric stimulation for foot drop vs. an ankle-foot orthosis in individuals with stroke. Dr. Burke joined the physical therapy program at Stony Brook University in 2013 as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the entry-level DPT program where she teaches Adult Neuro Assessment and Intervention.


Sue Ann SistoSue Ann Sisto, PhD, FACRM
Professor and Research Director, Rehabilitation Research and Movement Performance Lab, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Dr. Sisto, past-President of ACRM and Professor of Physical Therapy at Stony Brook University, School of Health Technology and Management, has been a physical therapist for over 32 years with a specialization in Spinal Cord Injury, health outcomes and movement dysfunction. Dr. Sisto is research director of the Rehabilitation Research and Movement Performance (RRAMP) Lab, and the Program Chair for the PhD Program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in the School of Health Technology and Management. Her current research direction is recovery of locomotion in spinal cord injury (SCI) and the impact on health outcomes as well as the use of TMS to promote neuroplasticity after SCI. Dr. Sisto has served on multiple grant review panels; she is associate editor for the Journal of Spinal Cord Injury Medicine and a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.  Dr. Sisto is an active member of the APTA Neurology Section.  She published over 60 peer reviewed articles, several book chapters and a textbook on SCI Rehabilitation in 2009.


Clinical Specialist, Restorative Therapies


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One full day of Instructional Courses: $199 // Three full days: $399

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*Although significant changes are not anticipated, all schedules, sessions, and presenters posted on this website are subject to change.