Our History

Restorative Therapies was established in 2004 as a partnership between researchers, engineers, and patient advocates to develop and promote Advanced Rehabilitation Technologies.  An original founder of Restorative Therapies, Dr. John W. McDonald, MD, Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins University, began working with the late Christopher Reeves in 1999 after he sustained a C2 spinal cord injury utilizing an activity based restorative therapy approach with intensive use of FES.  As a result, Christopher Reeve experienced improvements in both function and health beyond what he had achieved with years of traditional therapy.  

Through this collaboration, Dr. McDonald’s vision was to expand use of FES therapy systems both in the clinic and home settings to improve the lives of all those living with paralysis.  Now more than 15 years later, with technological advances, integrated FES therapy systems are a new standard of care in neurorehabilitation.  This paradigm shift of treatment translated into the solutions that Restorative-Therapies has continuously improved upon since its inception. 

Today, as the standard of care in neurorehabilitation, Restorative Therapies’ Integrated Functional Electrical Stimulation (iFES) Therapy Systems are available in over 600 clinics in the United States and over 1,000 clinics worldwide.  Restorative Therapies has partnered with the Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation as we share a unified vision of continuing the advocacy work of Christopher Reeves and Dr. John McDonald to expand awareness and access to iFES therapy systems to improve the lives of those living with paralysis.  

Restorative Therapies iFES systems provide an opportunity for individuals living with paralysis to optimize the body’s own capacity for micro-repair and aide in offsetting common secondary complications after neurological injury or disease.  Christopher Reeves worked closely with Dr. McDonald undergoing an Activity Based Restorative Therapy program with intensive use of functional electrical stimulation (FES).  The improvements that he experienced and reduced secondary complications are well documented in -McDonald JW, Becker D, Sadowsky CL, Jane JA Sr, Conturo TE, Schultz LM. Late recovery following spinal cord injury. Case report and review of the literature. J Neurosurg 2002;97(suppl 2): 25.-

Dr. McDonald recognized the importance of consistent and ongoing use of iFES therapy systems for individuals living with paralysis and sought to expand their use in the clinic and home.  

“Our strategy is to maximize the physical integrity of your body so it can meet a cure halfway when a cure comes. We discovered that we could make a great impact on an individual’s own spontaneous recovery by facilitating the body’s own micro-repair system. What we do in the lab is geared toward understanding these mechanisms of micro repair. We already know that myelination and birth of oligodendrocytes are incredibly dependent on electrical activity.”-Dr. McDonald

Check out the innovative products that have embraced iFES technology: 

https://restorative-therapies.com/ifes-systems/

 

Resources:

https://www.spinalcordworkshop.org/2021/05/11/john-w-mcdonald-phd/?fbclid=IwAR2hLyHycgUhyvXM1RgatvMVTEqt6r189oBQvC6JM_-IPKRYEDVcfQITL1Q

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/stem_cell_research/coaxing_cells/spinal_micro_repair.html

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00245726

https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/christopher-reeves-former-doctor-talks-about-his-former-patient

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1126178/