The primary aims of this laboratory are twofold:

  1. To investigate the effectiveness of current and novel neurorehabilitation interventions based on neural mechanisms of recovery.
  2. To facilitate the clinical adoption of efficacious interventions with consideration of healthcare policy by increasing the awareness of cost-effectiveness and cost-utility in neurorehabilitation research. 

Active projects:

Aerobic Exercise and Motor Recovery Post-Stroke

Conventional recovery following stroke occurs by a process of relearning lost skills through repetitive practice. Despite best efforts in therapy, more than half of individuals with stroke do not fully recover.

Aerobic exercise shows promise as a tool in neurorehabilitation that may work to optimize motor recovery. Using aerobic exercise to “prime” the brain may also result in a more cost-effective approach to rehabilitation. Furthermore, the side-effects of aerobic exercise are generally favorable, resulting in improved physical function along many dimensions, including cardiovascular fitness, lower limb function, and potentially decreasing risk for recurrent stroke.

In our current study, a total of 60 individuals with chronic stroke are randomized into one of two groups – an aerobic exercise and motor task practice group or a time-matched motor task practice only group. The study will investigate the effectiveness of each approach, determine cost-effectiveness in the short- and long-term, and identify specific social determinants of health that impact the cost-

For more information, please contact Sara Davidson or Dr. Susan Linder

Forced Aerobic Exercise to Improve Motor Function and Quality of Life for Individuals with MS

Aerobic exercise isn’t just good for heart health, it has also been shown to improve brain health. To test how aerobic exercise may help improve function in persons diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), we are conducting a preliminary study. We propose to use forced exercise, an approach in which the voluntary efforts of the individual are assisted to allow them to exercise at a higher intensity than what they can achieve on their own. In this pilot study we will evaluate the feasibility of using forced-rate aerobic exercise for individuals with MS to improve their motor function and quality of life.

For more information, please contact Sara Davidson or Dr. Susan Linder.

Stroke Patient Research Registry

The purpose of this registry is to connect stroke survivors with stroke related research studies occurring at Cleveland Clinic and area hospitals. Participants will provide researchers with contact information so they may be given details about ongoing and future research studies.

To be eligible to be included in the registry, a person must be over 18 years of age, diagnosed with a stroke, and able to understand study risks and provide informed consent.

If you wish to participate click on the link below to sign an electronic informed consent for this research registry. The consent will go over your rights as a participant and will explain the registry in more detail.

Stroke Registry

Feel free to contact the study coordinators, Morgan Widina or Alexis Skolaris, regarding any questions you may have.



  1. Linder SM, Davidson S, Rosenfeldt A, Lee J, Koop MM, Bethoux F, Alberts JL. Forced and voluntary aerobic cycling interventions improve walking capacity in individuals with chronic stroke. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation.2020.
  2. Linder SM, Rosenfeldt AB, Davidson S, Zimmerman N, Penko A, Lee J, Clark C, Alberts JL. Forced, not voluntary, aerobic exercise enhances motor recovery in persons with chronic. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2019;33(8):681-90.
  3. Linder SM, Davidson S, Rosenfeldt A, Penko A, Lee J, Koop MM, Phelan D, Alberts JL. Predictors of improved aerobic capacity in individuals with chronic stroke participating in cycling interventions. Arch Phys Med Rehabil.2020;101:717-21.
  4. Rosenfeldt AB, Linder SM, Davidson S, Clark C, Zimmerman NM, Lee JJ, Alberts JL. Combined aerobic exercise and task practice improve health-related quality of life after stroke: a preliminary analysis.Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2019;100(5):923-930.
  5. Linder SM, Rosenfeldt AB, Dey T, Alberts JL. Forced Aerobic Exercise Preceding Task Practice Improves Motor Recovery Post-Stroke. American Journal of Occupational Therapy.2017;70(1): 7102290020p1-7102290020p9. PMCID: PMC5317391.
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