David Ditor, PhD

Professor, Kinesiology

Office: WC 289
905 688 5550 x5338

Dr. Ditor’s research interests include the secondary health complications that accompany spinal cord injury, with a particular emphasis on 1) chronic inflammation and its effects on physical and psychological outcomes 2) cardiovascular disease and dysfunction, and 3) sexual function in both males and females.

He is also the director of the Brock Functional Inclusive Training (Bfit) Centre’s POWER CORD – a wheelchair-accessible exercise program. The Bfit facility serves as both a research centre and a community-based exercise centre for individuals in Niagara. POWER CORD currently has exercise programs for spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and amputees.

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Exercise and dietary rehabilitation
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Cardiovascular function
  • Sexual function
  • Adjunct professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University
  • Adjunct professor in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Science at York University
  • Affiliate member in the Centre for Disability Studies (CADS) at Brock University
  • Member of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) Quality of Life for Persons with SCI Subcommittee.
  • Member of the Editorial board for Critical Reviews in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

van der Scheer JW, Martin Ginis KA, Ditor DS, Goosey-Tolfrey V, Hicks AL, West C, Wolfe DL. Effects of exercise on fitness and health of adults with spinal cord injury: a systematic review. Neurology. In press.

Sharif H, Wainman L, O’Leary D, Ditor DS. The Effect of Blood Volume and Volume Loading on Left Ventricular Diastolic Function in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury. Spinal Cord. 2017 Apr 4. doi: 10.1038/sc.2017.30. [Epub ahead of print]

Snyder K, Ditor DS. ” The effects of FES-ambulation training on locomotor function and psychological well-being after a stroke: A case report”. Current Trends in Neurology. 10:85-91. 2016.

Allison DJ, Gabriel D, Klentrou N, Ditor DS. The influence of chronic inflammation on peripheral motor nerve conduction following spinal cord injury: A randomized clinical trial. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. In press.

Dance D, Chopra A, Campbell K, Ditor DS, Hassouna M, BC Craven. Exploring Daily Blood Pressure Fluctuations and Cardiovascular Risk among Individuals with Motor Complete Spinal Cord Injury: A Pilot Study. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. 4:1-10, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

Au JS, Ditor DS, MacDonald MJ, Stohr EJ. Carotid artery longitudinal wall motion (CALM) is associated with local blood flow and left ventricular rotational, but not longitudinal mechanics. Physiological Reports. Jul;4(14). pii: e12872. doi: 10.14814/phy2.12872.

Sharif H, O’Leary D, Ditor DS. Comparison of QT-interval and Variability Index Methodologies in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury. Spinal Cord. 55(3):274-278. 2017.

Bailey KA, Gammage KL, van Ingen C, Ditor DS. “My body was my temple”: A narrative revealing body image experiences following treatment of a spinal cord injury. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2016 Aug 24:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Bailey KA, Gammage KL, van Ingen C, Ditor DS. Managing the Stigma: Exploring body image experiences and self-presentation among people with spinal cord injury. Health Psychology Open. 2016 Jun 1;3(1):2055102916650094. doi: 10.1177/2055102916650094.

Allison DJ, Gabriel D, Klentrou N, Ditor DS. Targeting inflammation to influence cognitive function following spinal cord injury: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Spinal Cord. 55(1):26-32. 2017.

Allison DJ, Thomas A, Beaudry K, Ditor DS. Targeting Inflammation as a Treatment Modality for Neuropathic Pain in Spinal Cord Injury: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of Neuroinflammation. 13(1):152-161, 2016.

Sharif H, Allison DJ, O’Leary D, Ditor DS. Reproducibility of the QT-Variability Index in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical. 195:16-9. 2016

Sharif H, Millar PJ, Incognito AV, Ditor DS. Non-invasive electrocardiographic assessments of cardiac autonomic modulation in individuals with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 54(3):166-71. 2016

Allison DJ, Chapman B Wolfe D, Sequeira KAJ, Hayes K, Ditor DS. Effects of an FES-assisted cycling program on immune and cardiovascular health in persons with spinal cord injury. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. 22(1):71-78. 2016

Patterson JT, Hart A, Hansen S, Carter M, Ditor DS. Measuring investment in learning: Can ECG provide an indication of cognitive effort during learning? Perceptual and Motor Skills. 122(2):375-94. 2016.

Allison DJ, Ditor DS. Targeting inflammation to influence mood following spinal cord injury: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Neuroinflammation. 12:204-213. 2015

Totosy de Zepetnek JO, Ditor DS, Au AS, MacDonald MJ. Impact of shear rate pattern on upper and lower limb conduit artery endothelial function in both spinal cord injured and able-bodied men. Exp Physiol. 100(10):1107-17, 2015

Wecht JM, LaFountaine MF, Handrakis JP, West C, PhD,  Phillips A, Ditor DS, Sharif H, Bauman WA, Krassioukov A. Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction Following Spinal Cord Injury: Cardiovascular, Cerebrovascular and Thermoregulatory Effects. Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports. 3(3):197-205, 2015

Sharif H, Cotie LM, La Fountaine MF, Ditor DS. The influence of cardiac autonomic activity on the QT-Variability Index in able-bodied and incomplete spinal cord injured individuals. Auton Neurosci. 190:46-52, 2015

Bailey KA, Gammage KL, van Ingen C, Ditor DS. “It’s all about acceptance”: A Qualitative Study Exploring a model of Positive Body Image for People with Spinal Cord Injury. Body Image. 20(15):24-34. 2015

Totosy de Zepetnek JO, Au AS, Ditor DS, MacDonald MJ. Lower limb conduit artery endothelial responses to acute upper limb exercise in spinal cord injured and able-bodied men. Physiol Rep. 2015 Apr;3(4). pii: e12367. doi: 10.14814/phy2.12367.

Curtis K, Hitzig SL, Leong N, Wicks C, Ditor DS, Katz J.  Evaluation of a modified Yoga program for persons with spinal cord injury: A pilot study.  Therapeutic Recreation Journal. 49(2):97-117, 2015.

Allison DJ, Ditor DS. Immune Dysfunction and Chronic Inflammation Following Spinal Cord Injury. Spinal Cord. 53(1):14-8, 2015.

Cramp JD, Courtois FJ, Ditor DS. Sexuality for Women With Spinal Cord Injury. J Sex Marital Ther. 41(3):238-53, 2015.

Mezil YA, Allison DJ, Kish K, Ditor DS, Ward WE, Tsiani E, Klentrou P. Response of bone turnover markers and cytokines to high-intensity low-impact exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Nov 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Allison DJ, Ditor DS. The common inflammatory etiology of depression and cognitive impairment: a therapeutic target. J Neuroinflammation. 11(1):151, 2014.

Allison DJ, Green LA, Gabriel DA, Roy BD, Inglis JG, Ditor DS. Elevated Concentrations of Circulating Cytokines and Correlations with Nerve Conduction Velocity in Human Peripheral Nerves. J Neuroimmunol. 15; 277(1-2):134-9, 2014.

Pelletier CA, Ditor DS, Latimer-Cheung AE, Warburton DE, Hicks AL. Exercise equipment preferences among adults with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 52(12):874-9, 2014.

Cramp J, Courtois F, Connolly M, Cosby J, Ditor DS. The Impact of Urinary Incontinence on Sexual Function and Sexual Satisfaction in Women with Spinal Cord Injury. Sexuality and Disability. 32(3):397-412, 2014.

Sharif H, Gammage K, Chun S, Ditor DS. Effects of FES-Ambulation Training on Locomotor Function and Health-Related Quality of Life in Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 20(1):58-69, 2014.

Ptasinski J, Sharif H, Ditor DS. The effects of functional electrically stimulated (FES)-arm ergometry on upper limb function and resting cardiovascular outcomes in individuals with tetraplegia: A pilot study. Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation. 1(2): 17-21, 2013.

Richard-Greenblatt M, Martin Ginis KA, Leber B, Ditor DS. Knowledge Mobilization Regarding Activity and Exercise After Spinal Cord Injury. Disability and Rehabilitation 34(17):1456-60, 2012

  • Foundations of Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Physiological consequence of spinal cord injury and rehabilitative techniques
  • Exercise programming for Neurological populations

Dr. Ditor is also the co-inventor of the anti-contracture elevating (ACE)-wheelchair leg rests. This patented device attaches to any manual wheelchair and helps to improve range of motion at the knee, as well as reduce lower limb spasticity and edema in chronic wheelchair users.