Friday, October 24th 2014

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Spinal Cord Injury Answers

Answers to frequently asked Questions about Spinal Cord Injury

How neurons control fine motor behavior of the arm

Published: January 31, 2014

how neurons control fine motor behaviorMotor commands issued by the brain to activate arm muscles take two different routes. As the research group led by Professor Silvia Arber at the Basel University Biozentrum and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research has now discovered, many neurons in the spinal cord send their instructions not only towards the musculature, but at the same time also back to the brain via an exquisitely organized network. This dual information stream provides the neural basis for accurate control of arm and hand movements. These findings have now been published in Cell. Continue Reading »

Will stem cell therapy help cure spinal cord injury?

Published: December 17, 2013

A systematic survey of the scientific literature shows that stem cell therapy can have a statistically significant impact on animal models of spinal cord injury, and points the way for future studies.

Spinal cord injuries are mostly caused by trauma, often incurred in road traffic or sporting incidents, often with devastating and irreversible consequences, and unfortunately having a relatively high prevalence (250,000 patients in the USA; 80% of cases are male). High-profile campaigners like the late actor Christopher Reeve, himself a victim of sports-related spinal cord injury, have placed high hopes in stem cell transplantation. But how likely is it to work? Continue Reading »

Spinal Injuries Treated With Hypoxia: What Is This Promising (And Surprising) New Treatment?

Published: November 27, 2013

Nazareth CollegeInhaling less oxygen, known as hypoxia, boosts the walking abilities of patients with spinal injuries, according to a counterintuitive treatment described today in the journal Neurology.

Scientists from Emory University found that intermittent, but safe, exposure to hypoxia could improve both walking endurance and speed for patients with spinal injuries that have not completely eliminated the capacity to take steps. Continue Reading »

Does the Timing of Surgery to Treat Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Affect Outcomes?

Published: October 24, 2013

New Rochelle, NY — Performing surgery to take pressure off the spine after a traumatic injury soon after the event could prevent or reverse some of the secondary damage caused by swelling and decreased blood flow to the injured spine.

However, strong evidence to support early spinal surgery is lacking, mainly because the available study data cannot be easily compared, as explained in a review of this controversial field published in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Continue Reading »

A pacemaker in the brain for spinal cord injury?

Published: October 24, 2013

2007 Regenerative MedicineDeep-brain stimulation, a technique used for more than a decade to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, may help restore greater function and more natural movement to patients with spinal cord injuries that have left at least a few nerves intact, new research says.

A study published this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine showed that in rats whose spinal cords were partially severed, the implantation of a pacemaker in the brain’s mesencephalic locomotor region – a control center for the initiation of movement – restored the hind limbs’ ability to run and support weight to near-normal levels. Continue Reading »

What Kids Should Know About Spinal Injuries in Sports

Published: September 17, 2013

Spinal Injuries in SportsA push to alert high school athletes about neck injuries

A new push is under way to raise awareness of a little-understood but dangerous risk to young athletes: damage to the cervical spine.

It could be a hard tackle in football, a cross-check in ice hockey or a fall off the top of a cheerleading pyramid.

A new push is under way to raise awareness of a little-understood but dangerous risk to young athletes: injuries to the cervical spine, the highly vulnerable area between the first and seventh vertebrae that protects the spinal cord connecting the brain to the body. Players and teammates may not instantly recognize the severity of the damage, and the wrong move can damage or sever the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis or even death. Continue Reading »

Jesse Billauer: Happiness Interview

Published: June 30, 2013 | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

Surfer-Jesse-BillauerYou’re 17, and the most pressing concerns in your life are binge-drinking, prom, and being your parents’ worst nightmare.  The so-called “real world” is incomprehensible to you, and you’re still proud of that freshly printed piece of plastic in your wallet called a “driver’s license.” Doesn’t 17 seem far away?  That’s because, for most of us, it is.  Senior year, college, jobs, and attendant emotional baggage have come and gone since then.  But 17 is how old Jesse Billauer was when he lost the use of his legs.  He was just a kid. Continue Reading »

Nutrition for people with spinal cord injuries

Published: March 15, 2013

Eat-Well,-Live-Well-with-Spinal-Cord-InjuryMaintaining health can prevent secondary complications from developing, new book says

oanne Smith and Kylie James knew that diet plays a significant role in the health of people with neurological disorders. But they couldn’t find published material to that back knowledge up.

So Smith, a registered nutritionist with a spinal cord injury, and James, a nutritionist and occupational therapist specializing in neurological disorders, decided to produce a book themselves. They did it with a grant from the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Continue Reading »

Can you still enjoy sex if you’re severely disabled? This bride-to-be, who has no feeling from the chest down, gives a resounding yes, yes, YES!

Published: March 9, 2013

P1070365.jpg Sophie Morgan collectsSophie Morgan was left paralysed after a car accident in 2003, aged 18; Has no sensation from the waist down but has no complaints about sex; Sophie thought she’d live in celibacy, and discovered quite the opposite.

When I was invited to write about my sex life, I was hesitant. How much did I want to reveal about something so deeply personal?

I’m no exhibitionist – I do not relish the thought of strangers knowing intimate details of my life. But then I decided, yes, I would do it. Why? Because I realised my reticence was partly due to the fact that the subject of sex for people like me is still taboo. And it shouldn’t be that way. Continue Reading »

Questions About Stem Cell Therapy?

Published: December 28, 2012

Spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when the spinal cord becomes damaged, most commonly, when motor vehicle accidents, falls, acts of violence, or sporting accidents fracture vertebrae and crush or transect the spinal cord.

Damage to the spinal cord usually results in impairments or loss of muscle movement, muscle control, sensation and body system control. Continue Reading »