Monthly Archives: January 2012
Researchers deploy “sonic hedgehog” to help repair damage
EAST GREENBUSH — Researchers in the Capital Region have created microscopic beads that may help heal spinal cord injuries when injected into wounds.
“For spinal cord-injured patients, there is nothing out there yet in terms of regenerative therapy,” said biologist Sally Temple, who is hopeful this new treatment will work in humans. Temple runs the not-for-profit New York Neural Stem Cell Institute on the University at Albany’s East Campus.
Two months ago, Geron Corp. stopped the world’s first clinical trial on embryonic stem cells because of funding problems. The trial was testing whether stem cells could heal spinal cord injures. The company said it will abandon the stem cell research entirely.
MTSU experiments help bring back feeling
MURFREESBORO — Paralyzed from the waist down since a freak mowing accident in June 2007, Carmen Thompson is taking some groundbreaking steps — even if they’re in water.
Her husband, Terry, a general contractor, has made their Nashville home handicap accessible for his wife, yet she’s determined to stand on her own, largely through experimentation being done at MTSU.
Anyone who has seen the 2005 documentary Murderball knows that the sport of quad rugby is intense. It is a 4-on-4 full-contact sport played by athletes who navigate the court in specialized wheelchairs. The rules are similar to those of traditional rugby, but instead of running around an open, grassy field, the players fly around a basketball court in technically advanced wheelchairs, attempting to carry the ball across the opponent’s goal line.
The violent, and entertaining, aspect of traditional rugby is maintained. Players are constantly colliding with each other, often with such tremendous force it can lift competitors’ wheelchairs completely off the ground.
RESEARCH: STEM CELLS: two small words that can invoke enormous hype, hope and sometimes confusion.
In theory harnessing them could open up new therapies for a range of medical conditions. In practice it’s a complex field, strewn with technical and, in some cases, ethical difficulties, but progress is being made, a small number of clinical applications have already been proved and more clinical trials are under way.
But first, in any discussion of stem cells there’s an important set of distinctions to make. Not all stem cells are the same – and how they are classified depends on where they came from.
Twenty-five years after the historic Rick Hansen Man in Motion World Tour to raise awareness about spinal cord injury research, accessibility and inclusivity, Canadians vastly underestimate the costs of treating and caring for people with spinal cord injury and other chronic illnesses that result in paralysis, according to a wide-raging survey conducted for The Rick Hansen Institute by Angus Reid Public Opinion.
On Wednesday, US researchers announced they are testing a new drug in dogs that has already proven effective in mice. The drug is designed to substantially reduce the hind limb paralysis that follows certain spinal cord injuries. There are currently no therapies that can do this. The researchers suggest if the drug succeeds in dogs, it could also work in humans.
Former Mater Dei baseball player Cory Hahn, who was paralyzed during a college baseball game in February 2011, has returned to Arizona State University to resume his studies this semester. He will come back to Orange County for the first Trinity Bat Company Home Run Challenge, a Cory Hahn Fund charity event on Saturday at El Dorado High.
With every new day for Cory Hahn comes another challenge and another triumph, one that we won’t read about in the baseball box scores or newspaper sports pages that once chronicled the supreme talents of this former Mater Dei All-America outfielder and left-handed pitcher.
The most advanced and safest lightweight wheelchairs and strollers for children and adults with special needs. Portable, folding wheelchairs from Convaid.
Washington: Scientists have for the first time transformed stem cells from umbilical cords into other types of cells, which may have several therapeutic applications for spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, among other nervous system diseases.
The breakthrough could come as a favourable alternative to embryonic stem cells.
FAIRBANKS – Grant Korgan of Nevada became the first adaptive athlete in history to reach the South Pole on Tuesday, a little over a month after coming to Fairbanks to train and test equipment.
Korgan, who is paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a snowmachine accident two years ago, used a a sit-ski to push his way 75 miles to the pole in 11 days.
Korgan, 33, was accompanied by Antarctica guide Doug Stoup, Tal Fletcher and a three-person production crew who filmed the expedition.