Rehabilitation Aimed at Muscle Performance (RAMP) Lab Receives Canada Foundation for Innovation Funding

Darleme Reid presenting on RAMP labThe Rehabilitation Aimed at Muscle Performance (RAMP) Lab, directed by Dr. Darlene Reid, has received funding provided through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund. The John R. Evans Leaders Fund helps a select number of exceptional researchers at institutions across the country to conduct leading-edge research by giving them the tools and equipment they need to be or become leaders in their field.

Located in the Rehabilitation Sciences Building at the University of Toronto, RAMP Lab is affiliated with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. The Lab, which consists of several collaborators and six research trainees, aims to determine the causes of muscle weakness in disease to prevent weakness, improve strength, and to maintain independent living in Canadians.

“Injury or illness will cause many Canadians to experience suffering due to loss of muscle and coordination as result of inactivity, disease and medications that injure muscle” says Dr. Reid, Director of RAMP Lab and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto. “Deconditioning is not thought to be life threatening, but many Canadians will die at a younger age as a result of inactivity that could have been prevented.”

Dr. Reid stresses that the impact of poor muscle function on the health of Canadians will reach crisis proportions in the coming decades, as an increasingly inactive population ages and is left to self-manage multiple chronic diseases. In 2012, Canadians over the age of 65 incurred 45% of healthcare costs in spite of only comprising 15% of the population. An estimated 60% of people aged 55 to 74 have two or more health conditions. Symptom-related inactivity is common and debilitating for most chronic diseases.

Inactive persons require 38% longer hospital stays, and transitioning to assisted (rather than independent) living can double healthcare costs.Individuals are often left to navigate their own recovery, including how to exercise safely without aggravating their symptoms. This can be difficult and overwhelming” says Dr. Reid. “The John R. Evans Leaders Fund will enable RAMP Lab to focus on helping people reduce loss of mobility by increasing focus on maintaining muscle strength and independence.”

Click here to learn more about RAMP lab.