Monthly Archives: April 2008
The attorney lay awake in his hospital room, listening.
Even now, in the cold November dawn, helicopters landed, sirens wailed and respirators hummed with purpose. Nothing ever stopped at Harborview Medical Center.
And Mickey Gendler had a front-row seat to it all.
As he lay there, he replayed the accident a thousand times. The moment his bike tire caught in the grate. The flip over his handlebars. Later, his wife’s face when they heard the words “spinal-cord injury.”
Gendler watched the clock. It was time for the nurses to turn him in bed, a ritual that happened every two hours, another reminder that his body, all 6 feet 4 inches, had become the domain of others.
A COMMUNITY-based gymnasium for people with a physical Disability has started in Sutherland Shire.
The Burn Rubber Burn centre is an initiative of the NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service, the RTA and the Police Citizens Youth Club.
The gymnasium is at Sutherland PCYC, next to Sutherland Leisure Centre, off Rawson Avenue, Sutherland.
Burn Rubber Burn was formed originally for people with a spinal cord injury, but the centres of which there are three in NSW have expanded to accept amputees and people with neurological disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, stroke and spina bifida.
Exercise physiologists trained in disabilities operate the gymnasiums.
Each year in the United States, about 11,000 people suffer a spinal cord injury.
Recent research shows what happens in the first days after an injury has a big impact on how well patients recover.
And a new drug is showing big promise.
Two years ago, Johnathen Picco fell through a roof doing construction.
“After my operation, they said I wouldn’t be able to walk again,” he said.
In fact, doctors thought he wouldn’t even be able to sit up again. But then he got a drug never before tested on humans.
“We can actually potentially repair and regenerate the injured nervous system,” said Michael Fehlings, neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital.
EVANSTON, Ill., April 7 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say they have created a nano-engineered gel that can enable severed spinal cord fibers to regenerate and grow.
Spinal cord injuries often lead to permanent paralysis and loss of sensation because the damaged nerve fibers can’t regenerate, Northwestern University scientists said. Although nerve fibers or axons have the capacity to re-grow, they don’t because they’re blocked by scar tissue that develops around the injury.
The nanogel developed at the university’s Feinberg School of Medicine inhibits formation of scar tissue and enables the severed spinal cord fibers to regenerate and grow, the scientists said.
When Kadi DeHaan took her first steps in December, two years after a car accident forced her into a wheelchair, she did it in typical Kadi style: low-key, nonchalant and with a confident grin.
Apparently, she knew all along she would walk away from her pink and black wheelchair and her customized leg braces, despite a spinal cord injury at chest level and a grim prognosis that she would never walk again.
Press Photo/Katy BatdorffTherapists help guide Kadi DeHaan’s legs and feet as she walks through the hallway at MVP gym in Rockford. The movements must be “ingrained neurologically” before they will become automatic, said therapist Sandy Burns.
“Whenever it happens, it happens,” she would tell her mom.
It happened after two years of intensive therapy and six trips to Russia, where her stem cells were harvested and then injected into her spinal cord to restore nerves.
Lowering Body’s Temperature Protects Against Damage
According to the Spinal Cord Injury Information Network, there are about 11,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries each year in the United States. As of June 2006, there were about 253,000 people living with a spinal cord injury.
When a spinal cord injury occurs, there is the primary insult — the impact — which neither doctors nor patients can do anything about. But there are also secondary injuries — the damage that happens in the minutes, hours, days and weeks after the primary injury.
Dalton Dietrich III, Ph.D., from the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, said, “You have these Secondary Injury mechanisms that lead to progression of damage and that’s where we are working in the laboratory to develop new strategies, new drugs, new therapies to target that secondary injury.”
That’s 20-year-old Adrianna “Addie” Killam, who grew up in West Seattle — graduating from Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2002, Holy Names Academy in 2006, then heading to Arizona to go to college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical and Engineering University. Today, she traveled home to Seattle on a plane from Maui – but it was no tourism flight – it was a “medical lift” so that Addie could be admitted to the University of Washington Medical Center for therapy and rehab after a spring-break surfing jaunt left her with a spinal-cord injury. Family friend Maureen Emerson e-mailed WSB to help get the word out about Addie’s injury — which didn’t happen the way you might think after hearing the phrase “surfing injury” — and her fight to recover, which she’s chronicling online:
A University of Alberta researcher who developed a device to help patients with spinal cord injuries walk was awarded a $50,000 grant on Wednesday.
Dr. Dick Stein was awarded the grant, from a foundation created by Toronto journalist Barbara Turnbull, at a ceremony in Edmonton. Turnbull was left a quadriplegic at age 18 after she was shot during a convenience store robbery.
The ceremony recognized Stein’s WalkAide system, a small computer worn under clothing that delivers electrical impulses to trigger leg movements, helping patients walk.
“When the foot is behind the leg, it activates muscles to pick up the foot and bring the foot through. And then when the leg is in front of the body, then it turns the stimulator off so that the foot lands naturally on the floor,” he explained.
CHICAGO — A spinal cord injury often leads to permanent paralysis and loss of sensation below the site of the injury because the damaged nerve fibers can’t regenerate. The nerve fibers or axons have the capacity to grow again, but don’t because they’re blocked by scar tissue that develops around the injury.
Northwestern University researchers have shown that a new nano-engineered gel inhibits the formation of scar tissue at the injury site and enables the severed spinal cord fibers to regenerate and grow. The gel is injected as a liquid into the spinal cord and self -assembles into a scaffold that supports the new nerve fibers as they grow up and down the spinal cord, penetrating the site of the injury.
Up until two years ago, Jessica was just an active teenager in her sophomore year of High School.