Yearly Archives: 2013
“Are you okay?” my student asked concerned.
“Sure, why wouldn’t I be?” I responded in a confused tone, but I knew why she asked.
“Oh, it’s just…because you’re sitting today,” she started to stutter as her voice got lower almost not claiming what she just said.
As I rolled my wheelchair to the front of the classroom under my desk I assured her, “Oh, yea, I brought my wheelchair today.
Pitt/UPMC Team Describes Technology that Lets Spinal Cord-Injured Man Control Robot Arm with Thoughts
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC describe in PLoS ONE how an electrode array sitting on top of the brain enabled a 30-year-old paralyzed man to control the movement of a character on a computer screen in three dimensions with just his thoughts. It also enabled him to move a robot arm to touch a friend’s hand for the first time in the seven years since he was injured in a motorcycle accident.
With brain-computer interface (BCI) technology, the thoughts of Tim Hemmes, who sustained a spinal cord injury that left him unable to move his body below the shoulders, were interpreted by computer algorithms and translated into intended movement of a computer cursor and, later, a robot arm, explained lead investigator Wei Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pitt School of Medicine.
A training regimen to adjust the body’s motor reflexes may help improve mobility for some people with incomplete spinal cord injuries, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.
During training, the participants were instructed to suppress a knee jerk-like reflex elicited by a small shock to the leg. Those who were able to calm hyperactive reflexes – a common effect of spinal cord injuries – saw improvements in their walking.
SCI Total Fitness online spinal cord injury exercise program. We all know how important it is to get exercise. We also know the challenges many people have in getting to a gym and finding appropriate equipment. Now everyone can get a good workout at home!
2 new workouts posted EVERY WEEK!! A cardio routine AND an interval strength routine.
People often ask me when or if there will ever be a cure for spinal cord injury. Although there are many differing opinions about this, I am confident there will be a cure in my lifetime. In the meantime, anyone with a spinal cord injury should have a long-term plan for their treatment and care.
The number of spinal cord injuries per year has remained fairly stable over the last two decades, with nearly 12,000 occurring each year mostly from sports injuries, car accidents and other forms of traumatic injury. Currently in the United States there are approximately 200,000 people are living with spinal cord injuries or spinal dysfunction. With today’s advanced medical treatments, more spinal cord injury patients survive the trauma compared to just a few decades ago. This positive shift in mortality rate underlines the great importance of initial acute treatment and follow up rehabilitation.
Currently there is no effective treatment used in clinical practice for patients with an injured spinal cord. However, a group of orthopaedic scientists have recently discovered that the administration of microRNA-210 could be an effective treatment for an injured spinal cord by promoting regeneration following injury.
Previously, microRNA-210 has been studied as an effective treatment for cancer and other diseases. Scientists noted that there was an absence of this particular gene in cancerous tumors, but it was found in abundance in healthy tissue. By delivering what was missing directly to the diseased tumor, scientists were able to stop the progression of the disease.
Acorda Therapeutics said today it won a $2.67 million contract from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command (USAMRMC) to support development of AC105 as a treatment for acute spinal cord injury (SCI).
The contract will help fund a Phase II clinical trial designed primarily to assess the safety and tolerability of AC105 in patients with acute SCI. The company plans to open enrollment for this study in the first half of this year.
January 23, 2013 – Doctors at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, performed the first-ever Food and Drug Administration approved Schwann cell transplantation in a patient with a new spinal cord injury. The procedure, performed at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, is a Phase 1 clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety and feasibility of transplanting the patient’s own Schwann cells.
“This historic clinical trial represents a giant step forward in a field of medicine where each tangible step has tremendous value. This trial, and these first patients in this trial specifically, are extremely important to our mission of curing paralysis,” said neurosurgeon Barth Green, M.D., Co-Founder and Chairman of The Miami Project, and Professor and Chair of Neurological Surgery.
A Big Opportunity – For Everyone
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) refers to an injury to the spinal cord that is caused by direct trauma or secondary damage to the surrounding bone, tissue, or blood vessels. Classification of the extent of the injury is based on neurological responses, touch and pinprick sensations tested in each dermatome (an area of the skin supplied by a single spinal nerve), and strength of ten key muscles on each side of the body, including the hip flexion (L2), shoulder shrug (C4), elbow flexion (C5), wrist extension (C6), and elbow extension (C7). The four categories of SCI classification and their respective percent of the market are: Complete Tetraplegia (16%), Incomplete Tetraplegia (41%), Complete Paraplegia (22%), and Incomplete Paraplegia (21%)
AS THE 2013 school year fast approaches, an enthusiastic bunch of injury prevention volunteers are ready to inspire Bundaberg children to stay safe and injury free.
The Spinal Education Awareness Team (SEAT) program is ready for its 26th year of motivating school kids to consider their personal safety in order to avoid a permanent injury.
SEAT veteran presenter Wayne Leo said SEAT had 20 volunteer presenters throughout Queensland.