Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy
1540 Alcazar St., CHP 155,
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9006
Dr. Beth Fisher holds a joint appointment in the Department of Neurology, Keck School of Medicine at USC. She is the director of the Neuroplasticity and Imaging Laboratory primarily using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to investigate brain-behavior relationships during motor skill learning and motor control in both non-disabled individuals and individuals with neurologic disorders. She previously worked at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center on the Adult Neurology and Brain Injury Services and continues to consult and teach nationally and internationally on current concepts for the treatment of adults with neurological disorders.
During her years as a clinician and rehabilitation specialist, it was her greatest ambition to be a part of developing physical therapy interventions that would maximize neural and behavioral recovery in individuals suffering from pathological conditions affecting the nervous system. Towards this goal she is currently studying the effects of skill training compared with aerobic exercise on functional recovery and brain repair in Parkinson’s disease using fMRI as a marker of neuroplasticity. Her interest to study neuroplastic changes with skill has led her to extend her work to non-neurologic populations. She is currently utilizing TMS to study the relationship between skill level and interhemispheric inhibition in musicians; brain changes in healthy individuals learning complex motor skills as part of an ACL injury prevention program and differential modifications in the brain and spinal cord resulting from receiving high- versus low-velocity mobilization as part of a physical therapy program for ankle sprain.