Spinal cord injury research at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health will be accelerated by a 10-year, $20 million contribution from the Rick Hansen Foundation.
The International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), a UBC-VCH research centre, will share the funds with the Rick Hansen Institute, which coordinates and assists spinal cord injury researchers around the world. Continue Reading »
New treatments leverage “neuroplasticity,” the nervous system’s innate ability to repair itself
When Christopher Reeve became quadriplegic, there was little hope for patients with spinal cord injury. Now researchers are combining what they know about the central nervous system’s ability to rewire and regrow with a new understanding of the hidden smarts of the spinal cord to dramatically improve treatments.
Even the most devastating spinal cord injuries usually do not completely sever the link between the brain, spine and the rest of the body. Scientists are now finding ways to make the most of the remaining connections using a variety of technologies. Studies on electrical stimulation and locomotor training (a treatment that relies on human or robotic assistance during a walking exercise) suggest that it is possible to regrow damaged neuronal circuits in the brain and spine and recover some voluntary control. Some of these studies find that circuits in the spinal cord itself can be coaxed into helping the body move again. Continue Reading »
After decades of research, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has completed its first human cell transplant for a spinal cord injury.
Doctors grew what are called Schwann cells from nerve tissue taken from an unidentified man’s leg, then transplanted them back into his own body. The patient now has passed the critical 30-day, post-operation period without complications, giving researchers hope that they’re headed toward curing paralysis and developing treatments for neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Continue Reading »
Here’s hope for those suffering from spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders- researchers have found a way to make injured nerve cells regenerate.
A team led by Melissa Rolls, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University, has found that a mutation in a single gene can entirely shut down the process by which axons- parts of the nerve cell that send signals to other cells – regrow themselves after being cut or damaged.
“We are hopeful this discovery will open the door to new research related to spinal-cord and other neurological disorders in humans,” said Rolls, according to the journal Cell. Continue Reading »
Newswise — STONY BROOK, N.Y., October 8, 2012 – A series of rehabilitation studies published in the September 2012 issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation demonstrate that innovative treatments for individuals with spinal cord injuries can lead to significant functional improvements in patients and a higher quality of life. Continue Reading »
When a Swiss-based researcher announced this month he had achieved some improvement in profoundly paralyzed spinal-cord-injury patients with an injection of stem cells, he generated headlines worldwide. Dr. Armin Curt’s findings were the first evidence from actual humans — though far from conclusive — that the much-hyped stem-cell concept might work in paraplegic and quadriplegic patients.
What went unsaid was that the breakthrough could have taken place in Canada. Continue Reading »
The Governor of California has just dealt a devastating blow to paralysis cure research.
Yesterday afternoon, driving home after a trip to Sacramento to talk to Secretary of Health Diana Dooley, who was very supportive about the research, I received a phone call on my cell. It was from Jeff Barbosa, legislative director to Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski.
AB 1657, which would devote $1 from certain traffic tickets to fund spinal cord injury research, is well-meaning but misguided. If the state is going to increase traffic fines, the revenue should pay for underfunded basic services.
Who would be so cruel, so selfish, as to deny money for spinal cord injury research? Unless you wish further harm to people who are paralyzed or otherwise disabled by spinal injury, certainly you want Californians to open up their wallets to fund studies, right? Continue Reading »
Each year, an estimated 15,000 Americans are diagnosed with spinal cord injuries. Of these, about 10,000 will be permanently paralyzed. Until recently, these individuals had little, if any, hope of recovery. But current research gives them hope.
Kansas City, KS – infoZine – An anonymous $4 million gift to KU Endowment will fund spinal cord research through the University of Kansas Medical Center’s Institute for Neurological Disorders, which fosters neurological research developing discoveries into cures. Continue Reading »