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Spinal Cord Injury News

Spinal Cord Injury News Articles

Human Neuron Transplants Treat Spinal Cord Injury in Mice

Published: September 22, 2016

mge_spheroidsChronic pain and loss of bladder control are among the most devastating consequences of spinal cord injury, rated by many patients as a higher priority for treatment than paralysis or numbness. Now a UC San Francisco team has transplanted immature human neurons into mice with spinal cord injuries, and shown that the cells successfully wire up with the damaged spinal cord to improve bladder control and reduce pain. This is a key step towards developing cell therapies for spinal cord injury in humans, say the researchers, who are currently working to develop the technique for future clinical trials. Continue Reading »

The Teen Actor Who’s Breaking Barriers On TV

Published: September 21, 2016 | Spinal Cord Injury:

micah-fowler-as-jj-dimeo-on-speechlessMicah Fowler, the star of Speechless, is just your average almost-famous high school senior with a disability rights mission.

Shortly before his high school prom, actor Micah Fowler found out ABC had picked up Speechless, the sitcom in which he stars as a nonverbal teen in a family of five. Weeks later, the 18-year-old New Jersey native moved to Los Angeles with his mother to start shooting and he’s had to make some personal sacrifices for this gig: He is missing much of his sled hockey season and much of his senior year (though he still plans to graduate with his class in the spring); plus, the somewhat social media–averse teen has joined both Twitter and Instagram to promote the show. Continue Reading »

Graphene Nanoribbons May Help Heal Damaged Spinal Cords

Published: September 20, 2016

graphene-nanoribbonsJames Tour, a chemist at Rice University, stated that a treatment procedure to heal damaged spinal cords by combining graphene nanoribbons produced with a process invented at Rice and a common polymer is expected to gain importance.

As stated in an issue of Nature from 2009, chemists at the Tour lab started their research work with the discovery of a chemical process to unravel graphene nanoribbons from the multiwalled carbon nanotubes, and have been working with graphene nanoribbons for almost 10 years now. Continue Reading »

Asterias stem cell therapy shows promise in spinal cord paralysis: U.S. study

Published: September 14, 2016

asterias-biotherapeuticsAn experimental stem cell therapy developed by Asterias Biotherapeutics restored some movement to patients paralyzed by recent spinal cord injuries, according to interim data from a small study being presented on Wednesday.

One of the five patients in the trial regained use of both arms and hands, and is now able to feed himself, send texts on a phone and operate a wheelchair, the Fremont, California-based company said.

Three months after the cells were implanted, the study met its efficacy goal of two patients regaining return of two motor levels of functioning on at least one side of their body, the company said.

All five people in the study have experienced some upper extremity improvement so far, Asterias said. Continue Reading »

FINDING HER OWN WAY: Frye learns to overcome spinal cord injury

Published: September 14, 2016 | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

kandace-frye-katie-sewellROCKINGHAM — About two and a half years ago, 24-year-old Kandace Frye’s life took an unexpected turn following a car accident that left her without sensation or motor control of her entire body from just below her shoulders down — but living with a wheelchair hasn’t stopped Frye from working as a membership representative for FirstHealth Fitness Center in Richmond County.

With help from Katie Sewell, a FirstHealth physical therapist, Frye has discovered creative ways to overcome the accessibility issues people with spinal cord injuries encounter — especially, said Sewell, in rural cities. Continue Reading »

UofL researchers’ discovery helping children with spinal cord injuries

Published: September 14, 2016

emmalie-696x281Locomotor training is helping Emmalie, who was unable to walk after suffering a spinal cord injury, take steps, sit up on her own and improve her range of motion. Andrea Behrman, PhD, professor in the UofL Department of Neurosurgery, researches locomotor training in children at UofL.

“It turns out the spinal cord is really really smart. And it may be as smart as the brain,” Behrman said. “The brain gets information, listens to it, reads it, responds, integrates it and generates an outcome. When (the researchers) found that out, they said ‘I wonder if anybody can use this information in rehabilitating people with spinal cord injuries?’ And the answer is yes.” Continue Reading »

Tendon Transfer Should Be Used More Often in Tetraplegia

Published: September 7, 2016 | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

tendon-tranferTendon transfer can significantly improve hand and elbow function in quadriplegic patients, but the procedure is greatly underused, according to a new study.

A review of studies by hand surgeon Professor Michael Bednar, MD, of Loyola Medicine (Maywood, IL, USA) found that an estimated 65-75% of patients with cervical spinal cord injuries could benefit from upper extremity tendon transfer surgery, but only 14% of patients actually complete the procedure. Tendon transfer surgically redirects functional muscles to do the work of muscles that are paralyzed. Depending on the extent of the spinal cord injury, tendon transfers can enable a patient to grasp objects, pinch, open the hand, and straighten the elbow. Continue Reading »

Paralyzed Man Regains Use of Arms and Hands After Experimental Stem Cell Therapy at Keck Hospital of USC

Published: September 7, 2016 | Spinal Cord Injury:

neurosurgery-stem-cell-spine-patient-kris-boesenInitial Results Offer Hope for Patients to Reclaim Independence After Suffering Severe Spinal Injury

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Keck Medical Center of USC today announced that a team of doctors became the first in California to inject an experimental treatment made from stem cells, AST-OPC1, into the damaged cervical spine of a recently paralyzed 21-year-old man as part of a multi-center clinical trial. Continue Reading »

Aday at a time: After tragic accident, Aday making strides in physical therapy

Published: September 4, 2016 | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

greg-aday-spinal-cord-injuryA hearty smile and a positive attitude are how Greg Aday approaches life each day. This outlook helps to guide Aday as he goes through physical therapy sessions for a spinal cord injury he sustained in an auto accident. Aday’s life changed after he had stopped at a convenience store in Glenn Heights to get gas for his Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck on March 22, 1998.

“Usually, if I had to get gas I would come to Waxahachie. But for some reason that I night, I said, ‘Well I am going to pull in there.’ I got gas. There is a service road that you drive down to get back on the highway. When I was getting back on the highway, there was some lady broken down off to the side. I don’t remember dodging her but evidently, there was a girl that was coming the other way and she was doing about 80 mph,” Aday said. “She is the one that hit me from behind. It knocked me off the service road. Continue Reading »

Stem Cell Agency Spinal Cord Injury Clinical Trial Passes Safety Hurdles

Published: August 31, 2016 | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

logo-CIRMOakland, CA – A clinical trial using stem cells to treat people with recent spinal cord injuries has cleared two key safety hurdles, and been given approval to expand the therapy to a larger group of patients with a much higher dose of cells.

Asterias Biotherapeutics announced that its Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) has reviewed the safety data from the first two groups of patients treated and found no problems or adverse side effects. One group of three patients was given 2 million cells. The second group of five patients received 10 million cells. Asterias is now cleared to enroll another 5-8 patients with 20 million cells. Continue Reading »