Dr. Jones’ research program is focused on neurophysiology of the motor and sensory systems using both experimental electrophysiological methods and computer simulations. Projects are focused on topics relevant to people with neurologic or neuromuscular impairments in addition to basic science questions.
ALS and Exercise
A focus of the laboratory is on the influence of exercise and sedentary behavior on the physiological progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The majority of this work is done in a transgenic mouse model of ALS and clinical trials are underway.
Nerve tissue function depends on the integrity of a number of membrane proteins (ion channels and pumps) as well as cells responsible for myelination. We use non-invasive tools to measure the electrical health of neural tissue that are sensitive to these cellular properties. These methods are used to evaluate the change in nerve health of people living with spinal cord injury that use electrical stimulation based exercise devices.
Computer simulations built on mathematical models of neural tissue and connections are an adjunct tool to understand the function of the nervous system. Dr. Jones, together with colleagues, have built an online tool for using this approach in teaching basic neuroscience concepts to students. These methods are also used to guide interpretation of electrodiagnostic measures.