Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Monthly Archives: May 2007

What is the spinal cord and the vertebra?

Published: May 19, 2007

The spinal cord is about 18 inches long and extends from the base of the brain, down the middle of the back, to about the waist. The nerves that lie within the spinal cord are upper motor neurons (UMNs) and their function is to carry the messages back and forth from the brain to the spinal nerves along the spinal tract. The spinal nerves that branch out from the spinal cord to the other parts of the body are called lower motor neurons (LMNs).

Rallying call for the disabled

Published: May 18, 2007

Disabled people in Greece should try to get out of their homes more, despite the obstacles they encounter on sidewalks, in stores and on public transport, the man organizing an exhibition in Athens to promote facilities and equipment for the disabled told Kathimerini yesterday.

The Autonomy 2007 exhibition began at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Neo Faliron, southern Athens, yesterday and runs until tomorrow. But its organizer, Nikos Voulgaropoulos, is not disheartened by the fact that it will be difficult for disabled people to actually attend the show.

“That’s exactly why we are holding the exhibition,” said Voulgaropoulos, who founded the www.disabled.gr website and a magazine for disabled people that has 8,500 subscriptions.

Adventurer’s next step is to take his first step

Published: May 18, 2007
Out of hospital and extraordinarily positive, Michael D'Amelio has a joke with his girlfriend, Shennae Searle. Photo: Angela Wylie
Out of hospital and extraordinarily positive, Michael D'Amelio has a joke with his girlfriend, Shennae Searle. Photo: Angela Wylie

It WOULD never have happened if they had just stuck to the plan. But the £8 ($A19) air fares were too good to ignore. The ridiculously cheap flights took them to Switzerland, where the beauty of the Alps became the backdrop to disaster.

Until that point, their trip had been spectacular. It started with a mate’s wedding in Canada. Then on to New York, Las Vegas, Mexico, Cuba. They hiked the Inca trail, toured the Amazon, did the gorgeous Cinque Terre walk along the Italian coastline. Then Rome, and back to London.

It was November when they got to Interlaken. And that is when everything changed.

From the lab to the operating room

Published: May 17, 2007

797-226Dr. Brian Kwon just may be the future of spinal cord research.

The 35-year-old medical specialist splits his professional time these days performing delicate surgeries on patients with spinal cord injuries at Vancouver General Hospital, and doing lab work at the University of B.C. where he recently attained his PhD in the field of neural regeneration.

There aren’t many people in Canada right now, maybe two or three others, who can do what Kwon and his research team does — that is, bring tangible experience and discoveries from the lab straight into the surgery room, and vice versa.

Still making a difference

Published: May 17, 2007

rickyTwenty years ago, the kind of spinal-cord injury Caleb Brousseau sustained when he landed badly from a 12-metre jump while snowboarding in February would have left him in traction for months, contemplating a world of limited opportunity from a wheelchair.

These days, the 18-year-old Terrace high school student — who was made Paraplegic by the accident — is up and about, playing ball hockey with other spinal cord patients and feeling pretty good about what life has to offer.

“Right now,” he said, “not being able to walk is not a blessing, but it’s not a bad thing either. . . . I wouldn’t have the opportunities that I have right now if this [the accident] hadn’t happened.”

Picking up the pace in struggle to walk again

Published: May 16, 2007

Suspended in a harness over a treadmill, Rich Maloney swung his arms vigorously and propelled his body forward. At his feet, two physical therapists pushed his legs forward and back in a churning windmill motion, straining to align his gait. His movements painstakingly gained pace and fluidity.

For Maloney, the demanding therapy sessions are as close to walking as he has come since the day 21 years ago when he fractured his spine diving into the shallows at Wollaston Beach. Researchers hope that by simulating walking motions and patterns through a cutting-edge Rehabilitation technique called locomotor training, patients with spinal cord injuries can regain sensation and movement, and perhaps even learn to walk again.

Innovative education scheme sees fewer rugby players suffering spinal injuries

Published: May 16, 2007

Effect of nationwide injury prevention program on serious spinal injuries in New Zealand Rugby Union: an ecologic study

A scheme educating coaches and referees in the dangers of the rugby scrum could be a key reason for a reduction in the number of spinal injuries suffered by rugby players, says a researcher writing in this week’s BMJ.

Halo Ring, Crowns or Vest

Published: May 16, 2007

haloA halo, also known as a “halo ring” or “halo crown,” is a piece of equipment that encircles and is fixed to the head of a patient. This device is crucial for the management of a variety of conditions that destabilize the cervical spine.

Robotic device helps stroke patients, study finds

Published: May 15, 2007

American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Robotic, Elbow, Brace, Myomo, Woodie Flowers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

An electromyographically controlled robotic elbow brace being developed by Myomo helped to improve arm function impaired by stroke, according to results of a pilot study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Fighting back one ‘huff and puff’ at a time

Published: May 15, 2007

It is back to business for Dick Maloney. On April 15, the veteran entertainer and disc jockey returned to the airwaves with his Sentimental Journey radio show on CIWW Oldies 1310 (now to be known as The Dick Maloney Show.)

It is not quite business as usual for the Ottawa native who has been singing and playing the piano in numerous venues in the Ottawa area for the last 40 years, as well as being a familiar voice as both DJ and radio performer.

For the next several months, his recording studio will be his hospital room at St. Vincent’s Hospital, where he has been a patient since suffering a spinal cord injury last summer.