Monthly Archives: August 2009
Jill Mason embodies challenges, successes of people living with spinal-cord injuries
One of the annoying things about life with two paralyzed legs is time, Jill Mason said.
It takes hours to get up, to shower, dress and fix something to eat, the daily routine that an able-bodied person — like the competitive triathlete Mason used to be — could accomplish in minutes.
In the five years since a drunken driver smashed into her bicycle on Highway 12 near Oakmont, severing her spinal cord, Mason, 31, has gotten faster at these mundane chores, but they still take an entire morning.
In the evaluation of spinal injuries, they are often classified as complete or incomplete injuries. Traditionally, a complete spinal cord injury meant that there was no motor or sensory function below the level of lesion. But at times these definitions are difficult to apply and can create confusion.
For example it is common to have zone of partial preservation in many spinal injuries which is an area of preserved partial sensation below the injury site but below which no significant motor and sensory function is present.
In a major step in spinal cord injury research, scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have demonstrated that regenerating axons can be guided to their correct targets and re-form connections after spinal cord injury. Their findings will be published in the advance online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience on August 2.
In the last few years, researchers have shown that the severed wires of the spinal cord, called axons, can be induced to regenerate into and beyond sites of experimental spinal cord injury. But a key question has been how these regenerating axons, on reaching the end of an injury site, can be guided to a correct cell target when faced with millions of potential targets. Further, can regenerating axons form functional, electrical connections called synapses?
DENVER (CBS4) ― Craig Hospital patients took their rehabilitation outside on Friday for “Hobie Day.”
It was a chance for people with spinal cord injuries to show what they’ve accomplished on a visit to Cherry Creek Reservoir.
The patients were supported by family, nurses and therapists as they braved the water and boarded hobies, or hobie cats — small sailboats.
“Getting them out into the real world settings — the sun, the sand, the wind and getting on boats is applied therapy,” Craig spokesman Kenny Hosack said. “It’s disguised as fun.”