Dr. Knikou is a neurophysiologist working for more than 15 years on delineating the neural basis of movement and muscle tone in people with and without an injury and after training. Her recent research work concentrate on 1) functional reorganization of cortico-spinal connections after treadmill training in people with motor incomplete spinal cord injury and stroke, 2) neurophysiological characterization of cervical and thoracic transpinal evoked potentials in humans, and 3) strengthening of corticospinal connections through transpinal stimulation. Her main aim is the use of current available rehabilitation strategies in a more effective way and to develop new rehabilitation strategies to promote functional recovery of impaired movement in people with a spinal cord injury and post-stroke. Findings from Dr. Knikou’s studies will transform our understanding on the capabilities of the injured human nervous system to reorganize. This will lead to patient-orientated rehabilitation strategies and improvement of clinical decision making.

Degrees

Ph.D., Bioengineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

M.Sc., Biomechanics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

B.Sc., Physical Education, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

B.Sc., Physical Therapy, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Scholarship / Publications

2012-2017

Knikou M (2017) Spinal excitability changes after transspinal and transcortical paired associative stimulation in humans. Neural Plasticity, Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6751810, 15 pages

Hofstoetter US, Knikou M, Guertin PA, Minassian K (2017) Probing the human spinal locomotor circuits by phasic step-induced feedback and by tonic electrical and pharmacological neuromodulation. Current Pharmaceutical Design 23 (12): 1805-1820.

Murray LM, Knikou M (2017) Remodeling brain activity by repetitive cervicothoracic transspinal stimulation after human spinal cord injury. Frontiers in Neurology Feb; 8: 50. DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2017.00050.

Smith AC, Knikou M, Yelick K, Alexander A, Murnane M, Kritselis A, Houmpavlis P, McPherson JG, Wasielewski M, Hoggarth MA, Elliott JM (2016) MRI measures of fat infiltration in the lower extremities following motor incomplete spinal cord injury: reliability and implications for muscle activation. IEEE Eng Med Biology, pp. 5451-5456, DOI: 10.1109/EMBC.2016.7591960.

Dixon L, Ibrahim MM, Santora D, Knikou M (2016) Paired associative transspinal and transcortical stimulation produces plasticity in human cortical and spinal neuronal circuits. Journal of Neurophysiology Aug; 116: 904-916,DOI: 10.1152/jn.00259.2016.

Smith AC, Knikou M (2016) A review on locomotor training after spinal cord injury: Reorganization of spinal neuronal circuits and recovery of motor function. Neural Plasticity, 2016, Article ID: 1216258, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1216258.

Mackey AS, Uttaro D, McDonough MP, Krivis LI, Knikou M (2016) Convergence of flexor reflex and corticospinal inputs on tibialis anterior network in humans. Clinical Neurophysiology Jan; 127(1): 706-715, DOI: 10.1016/j.clinph.2015.06.011.

Knikou M, Dixon L, Santora D, Ibrahim MM (2015) Transspinal constant-current long-lasting stimulation: a new method to induce cortical and corticospinal plasticity. Journal of Neurophysiology Sep; 114: 1486-1499, DOI:10.1152/jn.00449.2015.

Knikou M, Smith AC, Mummidisetty CK (2015) Locomotor training improves reciprocal and nonreciprocal inhibitory control of soleus motoneurons in human spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurophysiology April;113: 2447-2460, DOI:  10.1152/jn.00872.2014.

Hanna-Boutros B, Sangari S, Giboin L-S, El Mendili MM, Lackmy-Vallee A, Marchand-Pauvert V, Knikou M (2015) Corticospinal and reciprocal inhibition actions on human soleus motoneuron activity during standing and walking. Physiological Reports Feb; 3 (2) e12276, DOI: 10.14814/phy2.12276.

Smith AC, Rymer WZ, Knikou M (2015) Locomotor training modifies soleus monosynaptic motoneuron responses in human spinal cord injury. Experimental Brain Research Jan;233(1): 89-103, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-014-4094-7.

Smith AC, Mummidisetty CK, Rymer WZ, Knikou M (2014) Locomotor training alters the behavior of flexor reflexes during walking in human spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurophysiology Nov; 112(9): 2164-2175,DOI: 10.1152/jn.00308.2014.

Knikou M (2014) Transpinal and transcortical stimulation alter corticospinal excitability and increase spinal output. PLOS ONE July; 9(7): e102313. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102313.

Knikou M, Mummidisetty CK (2014) Locomotor training improves premotoneuronal control after spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurophysiology, June; 111 (1): 2264-2275.DOI: 10.1152/jn.00871.2013.

Knikou M (2013) Neurophysiological characterization of transpinal evoked potentials in human leg muscles. Bioelectromagnetics Dec; 34 (8): 630-640. DOI: 10.1002/bem.21808.

Knikou M, Hajela N, Mummidisetty CK (2013) Corticospinal excitability during walking in humans with absent and partial body weight support. Clinical Neurophysiology Dec; 124 (12): 2431-2438,DOI:10.1016/j.clinph.2013.06.004.

Einhorn J, Li A, Hazan R, Knikou M (2013) Cervicothoracic multisegmental transpinal evoked potentials in humans. PLOS ONE Oct; 8 (10) e76940, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076940.

Knikou M (2013) Functional reorganization of soleus H-reflex modulation during stepping after robotic-assisted step training in people with complete and incomplete spinal cord injury. Experimental Brain Research, July; 228 (3): 279-296. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-013-3560-y.

Smith AC, Mummidisetty CK, Rymer WZ, Knikou M (2013) Effects of mechanical vibration of the foot sole and ankle tendons on cutaneomuscular responses in man. Neuroscience Letters June; 545:123-126. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.04.042.

Knikou M (2013) Neurophysiological characteristics of human leg muscle action potentials evoked by transcutaneous magnetic stimulation of the spine. Bioelectromagnetics April; 34(3):200-210, DOI:10.1002/bem.21768.

Hajela N, Mummidisetty CK, Smith AC, Knikou M (2013) Corticospinal reorganization after locomotor training in a person with motor incomplete paraplegia. Biomed Research International 2013: 516427, DOI:10.1155/2013/516427.

Knikou M (2012) Plasticity of corticospinal neural control after locomotor training in human spinal cord injury. Neural Plasticity 2012: 254948. DOI: 10.1155/2012/254948.

Knikou M (2012) Function of group IB inhibition during assisted stepping in human spinal cord injury. Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology Jun; 29 (3): 271-217. DOI: 10.1097/WNP.0b013e318257c2b7.

ACTIVE GRANTS

Activity-Dependent Transspinal Stimulation for Recovery of Walking Ability after SCI
Source: New York State Department of Health  
Projects to Accelerate Research Translation (PART) in Spinal Cord Injury-Round 2
Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP)
Description: The goal of this project is to establish neurophysiological and clinical improvements when transspinal stimulation is delivered at low and high stimulation frequencies during BWS-assisted step training.
Period: 2018–2021.
Role: PI/PD.
Collaborator: Noam Harel, MD, PhD (VA Bronx Medical Center & Mt. Sinai Medical School)

Transspinal-Transcortical Paired Stimulation for Neuroplasticity and Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury.
Source: New York State Department of Health
Projects to Accelerate Research Translation (PART) in Spinal Cord Injury-Round 1
Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP)
Contract No. C32095GG                                       
Period: from 01/01/2017 to 01/01/2020.
Description: The goal of this project is to establish the effects of paired associative transspinal and transcortical stimulation on cortical and spinal excitability when the paired stimulation is delivered at rest and during assisted stepping in people with motor incomplete SCI.
Role: PI/PD.

Transspinal Stimulation to Increase Neuroplasticity and Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury
Source: Craig H. Neilsen Foundation (339705).                            
Period: from 09/30/2015 to 08/30/2018.
Description: The goal of this project is to establish the effects of transcutaneous stimulation of the thoracolumbar region with constant and direct current on corticospinal and spinal excitability in healthy people and people with Spinal Cord Injury.
Role: PI/PD.

Institutional Support for Spinal Cord Injury Research (Round 6)
Source: New York State Department of Health
Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP)        
Institutional Support is provided to eligible NYS Principal Investigators to support SCI research.
Period: March 01, 2017- Jan 2022.
Role: PI.