Monthly Archives: January 2007
New technologies and more aggressive approaches to treating spinal cord injuries pioneered in Detroit are giving patients new independence and improved mobility.
But the innovations come at a big price at the very time insurers are trying to hold down rising health costs. While some advocates see progress in getting insurance to cover the treatment, patients are finding that insurers are willing to pay only so much for only so long.
Congress will probably pass a bill to finance embryonic stem cell research with federal dollars, but President Bush will certainly veto it because of ethical objections to destroying microscopic human embryos.
That leaves the country about where it was in 2001: idling in the “Go” square of the most promising medical-technology game in a generation. As with the last time Washington blocked stem cell money, states must step boldly into the void, which means the $10 million in additional stem cell funding proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley is not enough.
Stem cell research is among the most exciting but also most controversial areas of science today. It was in the news again last week because of proposals by British scientists to make stem cells from embryos created by implanting the genes from a human cell into the egg of a rabbit, cow or goat.
Initially it appeared that the government was planning to block such research, leading to claims that ministers were being swayed by pressure from religious groups.
A federal appeals court upheld an eight million dollar verdict against Greyhound Lines for a woman injured when another passenger cut the driver’s neck and the bus crashed, just after the September eleventh terrorist attacks made her afraid to fly.
Sharon Surles, a retired auto worker, said, “Wouldn’t you have been afraid to fly? I used to feel safe in the United States. I don’t feel safe anymore.”
Surles, of Saginaw, Michigan, was traveling to visit her daughter in Georgia when the bus crashed on rural Interstate 24 between Chattanooga and Nashville.
A RETIRED nurse left paralysed after an operation on her back at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital has won a legal action claiming she was a victim of medical negligence.
A judge ruled that the surgeon, who was still in training and carrying out an unusual procedure, had failed “to exercise the ordinary skill” required on this one occasion.
RACINE – Success is measured in small pieces in the Renguette household. Carly can move her left hand now, her right hand a bit, her legs a bit, she can stand by herself with help, and she can talk again.
It’s not much for an active 11-year-old, yet it’s much more than she was capable of just a couple of months ago. It began innocently enough on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 20.
“I came up from the basement, where my cousin and I were sleeping, and had a neck ache,” Carly said last week. She said it slowly, each word a chore. She was seated in her wheelchair which she controls mainly by tilting her head.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior U.S. National Institutes of Health official said on Friday President George W. Bush’s limits on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research have blocked potential medical breakthroughs.
The comments by Story Landis, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, came as supporters of a bill to lift Bush’s restrictions make a push for Senate passage in the coming weeks.
Bush used the only veto of his presidency last July to reject an identical bill and has promised another veto.
Surgeons at Royal Perth Hospital are urging people to be careful during their summer holidays, after treating an alarming number of spinal injury patients.
Trauma surgeon Dr Sudhakar Rao says five patients were admitted with permanent spinal cord injuries over 10 days in January.
The hospital usually sees about 34 spinal patients each year.
Dr Rao says people must have to exercise care while participating in summer sports.
Biomedical firm lands $4M in extra funding
OBERLIN — Synapse Biomedical, developer of an implantable device that allows paralyzed individuals to breathe on their own, has obtained an additional $4 million from investors to enable the company to expand its clinical trials and to begin marketing the device.
The latest investment brings Synapse’s total investor contribution to $6.5 million.
BOSTON (Reuters) – Human embryonic stem cells can help regenerate damaged nerves in rats, producing compounds that nurture nerve cells and stimulate the growth of new ones, Geron Corp. said on Wednesday.
The company’s stock rose on the news, published in the journal Stem Cells and Development.