Friday, April 18th 2014

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Spinal Cord Injury News

Spinal Cord Injury News Articles

Paralysis leads to business success

Published: April 14, 2014 | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

Paul Farthing Southeast MedicalOn July 27, 1993, 19-year-old Paul Farthing was playing with his Great Dane pup near his backyard pool.

“I had just shaved my head and was preparing to go back to The Citadel. I was selected for the Training Cadre,” said Farthing, now 39.

He was playfully taunting the pup to get her to chase him toward the pool, and then he’d jump in. The puppy wasn’t ready for water sports, so she didn’t follow. During one of his jumps, Farthing found himself at the shallow end of the pool. Continue Reading »

Not so Silly Putty: UM researchers use one of its components to turn stem cells into spinal cord cells

Published: April 13, 2014

Stem cells differentiated into neuron cellsCrain’s Detroit Business is long overdue for a story or blog on Silly Putty. Better late than never, here we go:

As it turns out, a main component in silly putty helps stem cells that are being grown in culture turn into the specialized cells researchers need.

The component is called polydimethylsiloxane, and it provides a sponginess that aids stem-cell differentiation, according to a study by University of Michigan researchers published Sunday in the online journal Nature Materials.

The researchers coaxed human embryonic stem cells to turn into working spinal cord cells more efficiently by using a soft, ultrafine carpet of the silly stuff than by using other media. Continue Reading »

Spinal injury proves no barrier to competing in sport

Published: April 13, 2014

Mark Bonnar Inter Spinal Unit GamesA MAN left paralysed after a diving accident in Tenerife has made a five hundred mile round trip to compete in the Inter Spinal Unit Games.

Marc Bonnar, who was paralysed after the accident in a swimming pool in 2012, was part of the team from the North of England Spinal Cord Injury Centre in Middlesbrough who travelled to Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire.

The 24-year-old animation design graduate from Ingleby Barwick joined other patients from around the country and the Republic of Ireland to take part in the 27th Inter Spinal Unit Games organised by WheelPower – the national charity for wheelchair sports. Continue Reading »

Man’s idea for big wheels lets him hit the sand rolling

Published: April 13, 2014 | Spinal Cord Injury:

The Sand RiderVIRGINIA BEACH Bill Fertig struggled with beach vacations for years. A motorcycle wreck 14 years ago left him a paraplegic. On a trip to Nags Head one summer, Fertig relied on a cumbersome wheelchair that even the strongest member of his family could barely push through the sand.

Fertig stayed back at the house so he wouldn’t be a burden while everyone played near the water.

Frustration fueled his desire to invent a new, lightweight, manageable sand wheelchair. Continue Reading »

Doctors use gaming to mend spinal injuries

Published: April 13, 2014

NEW DELHI: The rehabilitation department of Indian Spinal Injuries Centre has introduced a new and engaging form of rehabilitation: video games. This new form of virtual reality therapy has helped patients become more motivated and engaged during rehabilitation.

In a crowded rehab room, Vinod Kumar diligently stands on a balance board-a game console-and stares at the TV screen. He leans to the left, and on the screen the skier copies his movements. The goal of the skiing game is to reach the end of the slope and avoid obstacles, but the true goal is for Kumar to practice his balance. Continue Reading »

Light-Activated Neurons May Restore Function to Paralyzed Muscles

Published: April 10, 2014

Light-Activated Neurons Restore FunctionLONDON, April 10, 2014 — Paralysis caused by a motor neuron disease or spinal cord injury understandably causes feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and despair. But there is optimism in a new technique that can artificially control paralyzed muscles using light.

The technique, developed at University College London and King’s College London could potentially restore the function of muscles afflicted by motor neuron disease or spinal cord injury. Continue Reading »

Spinal Cord Injury Improved After Gene Therapy

Published: April 9, 2014

Wirbelsäule und BandscheibenOn April 2, The Journal of Neuroscience published a study on the use of a single administration of a gene-therapy targeting scar tissue at the site of a spinal cord injury in rats. The gene therapy helped nerve cells survive, and improved function of the affected hind limbs over the course of weeks, raising the possibility that the therapy might be useful to treat humans with spinal cord injuries.

Spinal cord injury is one of the most intractable medical problems, affecting, as it does, the main conduit for sensory and motor information from the brain to the body and back. When the spinal cord is injured, scar tissue forms, inhibiting re-growth of the axonal processes that make up the nerve cord. Continue Reading »

Spinal cord work is unexpected shocker: ‘This is a breakthrough’

Published: April 8, 2014

electrical stimulation to broken spinal cords(CNN) — At her research lab at the University of Louisville, neuroscientist Susan Harkema turned her back to her study subject to check a reading on a computer screen.

“Hey Susie, look at this,” the patient called out to her. “I can move my toe!”

Startled, Harkema spun around. The purpose of her study, which involves sending electrical stimulation to broken spinal cords, was to learn more about nerve pathways, not to actually make patients move.

That must be an involuntary spasm, she thought. She asked the patient, Rob Summers, to lie down and close his eyes and follow her commands.

“Move your left toe,” she said to him — and he did. “Move your right toe,” she asked — and he did.

Holy s***!” she yelled out loud. Continue Reading »

World’s first electric trike for quadriplegics is making dreams a reality

Published: April 8, 2014 | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

Chris Wenner Horizon electric trikeIt’s all about mobility and independence, and the new Horizon electric tricycle — designed by a disabled psychologist — offers both.

In a reoccurring dream Chris Wenner had, he went to bike shops in search of something he could ride as a quadriplegic. “The dreams started about 10 years after my diving injury,” says Wenner, now a Tucson-based psychologist. “They involved different bike shops, but the understanding was always that if I could find just the right components, I could ride again.” Continue Reading »

With Robotic Walking Suit, Paralyzed Person Will Give World Cup’s First Kick

Published: April 8, 2014

Robot Suit Debuts At World CupThe World Cup’s opening ceremony may wind up being the most exciting event of the tournament.

A Brazilian person who is paralyzed will walk onto the pitch in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this June wearing an exoskeleton walking suit to complete the ceremonial first kick. Built with light metals and powered by hydraulics, the walking machine could one day make wheelchairs a thing of the past — all thanks to science. Continue Reading »