Monthly Archives: June 2008
ALBANY – The state Spinal Cord Injury Research Board has not awarded grants in a timely manner, prompting the Legislature to take back $13.5 million one year and withhold funds in others, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in an audit released yesterday.
But the state Health Department, which oversees the board and the Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund, said no money has been lost because the agency still has the authority to spend the funds.
The Spinal Cord Injury Research Board was created in 1998 and the grants it gives out are funded by a surcharge on drivers who receive traffic tickets. The first grants were not given out until 2001. All told, it took between six months and 487 days after requests for applications were issued to give out the money, the audit found. The funds go to scientists, physicians and other experts researching a cure for spinal-cord injury.
An in depth look into individuals living life as quadriplegics.
ReWalk™, the first commercially viable upright walking assistance tool, enables wheelchair users with lower-limb disabilities to stand, walk, and even climb stairs.
Elsewhere, I have discussed various approaches for controlling urinary tract infections (UTIs) that help preserve the effectiveness of life-saving antibiotics when they’re really needed. This article extends this discussion with the intriguing idea that innocuous bacteria can be used to fight-off UTI-causing pathogens.
As many readers know personally, UTIs are an annoying, recurring health problem for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). It is estimated that the incidence of UTIs with fever and chills in this group is ~1.8 episodes annually (Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1993; 74(7)).
Our 17-year old son’s journey with spinal cord injury. His Graduation Address to Hants East Rural High, 2008.
MANNFORD — In most ways, Meagan Waffle is a typical teenager. She laughs a lot, talks about boys, loves her friends, and is constantly interrupted by cell phone rings and text messages on her cell phone. But Meagan stands out in a significant way. For the past 21/2 years, she has been navigating her life from a wheelchair.
But don’t feel sorry for Meagan. With an attitude that belies her 16 years, Meagan faces everyday challenges with grace and dignity — and without self-pity. Her confidence has enabled her family to cope with an incident that changed their lives forever.
“Deep down in my heart, I know I’m going to walk again. I just wish there was a cure now,” she said.
Accident paralyzed his body but not the love for his work
Sweat soaked his Aggie baseball cap as Eugene Alford lurched upright over the parallel bars. Suddenly, he was once again the tallest person in the room.
“Man,” he said, as his daughter flashed a thumbs-up. “This feels so good. This is the first time I’ve been standing upright since December 30.”
The thrill didn’t last long. After about 10 minutes, his blood pressure began to drop, and he was lowered into his wheelchair.
No matter. That moment in spring provided a sign that Alford, a surgeon accustomed to working 14-hour days and lecturing around the world, was on his way back from an accident that fractured his spine and left him paralyzed below the waist.
Back to what, however, remains uncertain.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new device that uses a tiny magnet can help disabled people steer a wheelchair or operate a computer using only the tip of the tongue, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.
The magnet, the size of a grain of rice, lets people direct the movement of a cursor across a computer screen or a powered wheelchair around a room.
It is easily implanted under the tongue, the team at the Georgia Institute of Technology said.
“We chose the tongue to operate the system because unlike hands and feet, which are controlled by the brain through the spinal cord, the tongue is directly connected to the brain by a cranial nerve that generally escapes damage in severe spinal cord injuries or neuromuscular diseases,” said Maysam Ghovanloo, an assistant professor who helped direct the work.
Film star Christopher Reeve was best known for playing Superman until he was paralysed from the neck down after a riding accident in 1995. He then became a tireless campaigner for the disabled, raising millions for research.
He survived ten years of near total immobility but died of complications in 2004, aged 52. His wife, Dana, 44, died unexpectedly of cancer in March 2006, leaving their son Will, then 13, an orphan. A new book tells their remarkable story.
ORLANDO, FL (UroToday.com) – Finally, University of California at Irvine investigators retrospectively evaluated 32/1319 (2.4%) SCI patients who developed bladder cancer that was detected a mean of 34 years (range 16-62) following SCI.
> 50% of these patients had not been managed with an indwelling Foley Catheter. Current recommendation is surveillance cystoscopy every 10 years in SCI patients with indwelling catheters, but based on this study, consideration of more diligent screening in all SCI patients regardless of bladder management technique, was urged by the authors.