Tuesday, July 15th 2014

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Spinal Cord Injury News

Spinal Cord Injury News Articles

Naperville painter learned all over again after shooting left her paralyzed

Published: July 6, 2014 | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

paralized artist Mariam PareIt has been 18 years since Mariam Pare flew from San Francisco to Richmond, Va. for a weekend getaway.

Pare has not returned to her apartment on the West Coast since that flight, but she still paints — just without the use of her arms or legs.

The 20-year-old art student who left San Francisco is now a 38-year-old professional — and one of the featured exhibitors at the upcoming Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Art Festival. Continue Reading »

Optogenetics enables muscle contraction control

Published: June 30, 2014

Optogenetics muscle controlNeuroscientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA) have shown that they can control muscle movement by applying optogenetics—a technique that enables control of neurons’ electrical impulses with light—to the spinal cords of animals that are awake and alert.

Led by MIT Institute Professor Emilio Bizzi, the researchers studied mice in which a light-sensitive protein that promotes neural activity was inserted into a subset of spinal neurons. When the researchers shone blue light on the animals’ spinal cords, their hind legs were completely but reversibly immobilized. The work offers a new approach to studying the complex spinal circuits that coordinate movement and sensory processing, the researchers say. Continue Reading »

How one man’s spinal cord injury is still healing 24 years later

Published: June 30, 2014 | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

Jason Dugmore Stone Mountain“I remember hitting the bottom, being face down, and my entire body getting a tingling feeling like when your foot falls asleep. It was then that I knew I broke my neck. I couldn’t move, not even to lift my head up.

About a minute went by and that’s when I prayed, ‘God, if you want me, take me. If not, please don’t let me die.’ With that, the rest of my air went out, and I blacked out.” ~Jason Dugmore
Continue Reading »

Spinal cord injury sufferers live in hope of a medical miracle that could see them walk again

Published: June 28, 2014

Steve PekrisVICTORIAN medical researchers are embarking on a range of exciting trials to improve the lives of people with quadriplegia and prevent the severity of new spinal cord injuries.

Among the projects under way are: electrically stimulated exercise, a sunshine pill and oxygen mask to stop their brain fog and a robotic arm that offers independence.

While international breakthroughs show rats with severed spines walking, experimental stem cell therapies and brain implants moving hands, experts caution that even significant advances take time. Continue Reading »

Exercise brings hope to those paralysed by spinal injuries

Published: June 27, 2014 | Spinal Cord Injury:

Injured Newcastle Knights player Alex McKinnonExercise therapy research at the University of Newcastle has brought profound improvements to limbs that were paralysed, doctors say.

The award-winning laboratory research is bringing hope of restored muscle function to those suffering paralysis from spinal damage, potentially including injured Newcastle Knights player, Alex McKinnon.

Neurophysiologist Dr Michelle Rank believes exercise is more beneficial than any other therapy currently available, even for patients with long-term injuries. Continue Reading »

Device Lets Brain Move Paralyzed Limbs

Published: June 24, 2014 | Spinal Cord Injury:

Device Lets Brain Move Paralyzed LimbsFor the first time ever, a paralyzed man can move his fingers and hand with his own thoughts thanks to an innovative partnership between The Ohio State Univ. Wexner Medical Center and Battelle.

Ian Burkhart, a 23-year-old quadriplegic from Dublin, Ohio, is the first patient to use Neurobridge, an electronic neural bypass for spinal cord injuries that reconnects the brain directly to muscles, allowing voluntary and functional control of a paralyzed limb. Burkhart is the first of a potential five participants in a clinical study. Continue Reading »

How aging can intensify damage of spinal cord injury

Published: June 24, 2014

Jonathan GodboutStudy in mice suggests immune cells fail to activate key messenger needed for repair

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the complex environment of a spinal cord injury, researchers have found that immune cells in the central nervous system of elderly mice fail to activate an important signaling pathway, dramatically lowering chances for repair after injury. Continue Reading »

H-Reflex Device: Improve Locomotion by Changing Spinal Cord Pathways

Published: June 24, 2014

H-Reflex DeviceInitial human studies of the H-Reflex Device have shown significant improvements in locomotion in spinal cord-injured (SCI) patients. Presented here is the use of a device and protocol to improve locomotor function in people with SCI by down-conditioning hyperactive reflexes or, if appropriate, up-conditioning hypoactive reflexes. Using operant conditioning of spinal reflexes, we can target plasticity to specific reflex pathways, which results in significant improvements in walking performance. These include less spasticity, easier stepping, increased walking speed, improved gait symmetry and decreased dependence on assistive devices. Continue Reading »

New Methods Show Promise for Rehabilitating Paralyzed Patients With Spinal Cord Injury

Published: June 23, 2014

new-methods-show-promise-rehabilitating-paralyzed-patients-spinal-cord-injuryAn array of techniques – some available now and others on the horizon – aim to restore movement and other functions in patients with spinal cord injuries.

A paraplegic wearing an Iron Man-like exoskeleton took the first kick of the World Cup soccer tournament during the opening ceremony in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a testament to recent advances in treating spinal cord injuries.

The robotic bodysuit took cues from the user’s brain activity to power his steps forward. It was developed by Brazilian doctor Miguel Nicolelis, who is on the faculty at Duke University, and more than 150 scientists from around the world. Continue Reading »

Stem-cell advances may quell ethics debate

Published: June 22, 2014

Robert WaddellRobert Waddell says he’s glad the stem cells that healed him came from “a guy who was 50 years old” and not a human embryo.

As a Catholic, Waddell opposes the destruction of embryos and didn’t want to rely on embryonic stem cells to cure his kidney disease. But he avoided this moral dilemma by getting bone marrow stem cells from a friend who donated a kidney as part of a University of Louisville study.

“It has nothing to do with embryonic stem cells,” said Waddell, a 47-year-old father of four. “That made it a lot easier.” Continue Reading »