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Quadriplegic retrofits truck to accommodate special needs

Published: December 28, 2016 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury:

Ryan Baetke's modified accessible truckLingering cleanup chores, tasks he didn’t attend to during the holiday weekend, consume Ryan Baetke’s Monday night at his home just north of Davenport.

From the seat of his motorized wheelchair, the 48-year-old sweeps the floor of his garage as his “sidekick,” a golden retriever named Annie, gnaws on a bone. As he scoops the dust into a garbage can, Baetke motions to another sidekick nearby.

At first glance, the 2015 GMC Sierra parked in the adjacent bay doesn’t appear to be anything special. Continue Reading »

If other paralyzed primates walk, will humans?

Published: December 23, 2016 | Category: Answers

paralyzed primates walkIn the annals of breathtaking scientific advances, it’s hard to top this recent news headline: “Paralyzed Monkeys Can Walk Again With Wireless Brain-Spine Connection.”

This is legit? Yes. How so? Scientists implant a chip in a monkey’s brain that sends wireless signals through a computer to electrodes in the lower back. The system stimulates a neural pathway that controls the muscles involved in walking.

Voila, the paralyzed primate walks. Continue Reading »

Wheelchair accessible? Just ask Google Maps

Published: December 19, 2016 | Category: News

Google is relying on crowdsourcing to make the world more wheelchair-friendly.

The search giant has launched a new feature through Google Maps that lists whether a location is wheelchair-accessible. Available only in the US to start, the feature relies on users to answer questions about the accessibility of a place they visit.

The new feature could impact millions of people in the United States. There are 2.2 million people in the US who depend on a wheelchair, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue Reading »

Experimental implant shows promise for restoring voluntary movement after spinal cord injury

Published: December 13, 2016 | Category: News

UCLA scientists test electrical stimulation that bypasses injury; technique boosts patient’s finger control, grip strength up to 300 percent

A spinal stimulator being tested by doctors at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is showing promise in restoring hand strength and movement to a California man who broke his neck in a dirt bike accident five years ago.

In June, Brian Gomez, now 28, became one of the first people in the world to undergo surgery for the experimental device. Continue Reading »

Study points to potential monitoring approach for personalized treatment of spinal cord injuries

Published: December 8, 2016 | Category: News

Researchers have developed a urine test revealing the presence of a neurotoxin that likely worsens the severity and pain of spinal cord injuries, suggesting a new tool to treat the injuries.

The neurotoxin, called , is produced within the body after nerve cells are damaged, increasing pain and triggering a cascade of biochemical events thought to worsen the injury’s severity. Continue Reading »

Improving Life for People With Spinal Cord Injuries

Published: December 7, 2016 | Category: News

“We are trying to improve someone’s quality of life. If someone can breathe without a ventilator, then you’ve increased their independence, and that, to me, is a huge success.” –Michael Lane, PhD

Walking is not the top priority for many patients who have suffered from cervical spinal cord injuries, according to Michael Lane, PhD, an assistant professor at Drexel University College of Medicine. Continue Reading »

The mind-reading robotic hand that lets quadriplegic people grasp everyday objects

Published: December 6, 2016 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury:

Scientists have developed a robotic interface which could help to restore fine hand movements in paraplegics.

By combining an electrode cap with an exoskeleton worn over the fingers, the device translates brain signals to hand movements.

The approach could provide paraplegic patients with the fine motor control needed to carry out everyday tasks such as eating, drinking and signing documents. Continue Reading »

Accident survivor making a name in wheelchair tennis

Published: December 3, 2016 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

In the course of three years, Taylor Graham has accomplished many things: Survived a motorcycle accident, adjusted to a spinal cord injury and a new life in a wheelchair, picked up the sport of wheelchair tennis, graduated from Southeast Community College, and even got married.

So what could possibly be next?

“We have a goal of competing in the Paralympics in 2020,” said Kevin Heim, his wheelchair tennis coach. Continue Reading »

Beach resort to cater for people with spinal cord injuries

Published: December 2, 2016 | Category: News

A new holiday centre will cater for people with disabilities and their families.

A world first facility has opened on Sydney’s northern beaches to support people living with spinal cord injuries.

The $22 million centre will help people with disabilities reconnect with everyday life.

The pristine resort has breath taking views and a very special clientele, only people with spinal cord injuries and their families can stay. Continue Reading »

Spinal Injuries Impact Gut Microbiome

Published: December 2, 2016 | Category: News

spinal-injuries-impact-gut-microbiomeThe gut microbiome undergoes changes after a patient suffers a spinal cord injury, according to a new study.

Researchers from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center used mice models of spinal cord injury in order to determine whether gut bacteria dysbiosis – or, functional interruption – affects the recovery of neurological function in patients after a traumatic spinal cord injury. The researchers wrote that this dysbiosis can both cause and exacerbate a number of diseases. The study authors studied changes in the mice’s microbiomes after their injuries for a month to predict the range of their locomotor impairment, they wrote. Continue Reading »