Monthly Archives: January 2014
Motor commands issued by the brain to activate arm muscles take two different routes. As the research group led by Professor Silvia Arber at the Basel University Biozentrum and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research has now discovered, many neurons in the spinal cord send their instructions not only towards the musculature, but at the same time also back to the brain via an exquisitely organized network. This dual information stream provides the neural basis for accurate control of arm and hand movements. These findings have now been published in Cell.
A research team at Harvard University has conducted a preliminary study on monkeys paralyzed by spinal cord injuries using a newly found technique for turning specialized cells into multipurpose ones that behave like embryonic stem cells, one of the team members said Thursday.
The same team is also experimenting with human cells in the hope of generating so-called STAP cells, which can turn into any type of body tissue, according to Charles Vacanti, a Harvard professor who co-authored papers on STAP cells published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.
Scientists have turned adult cells back to their embryonic form in under 30 minutes by simply treating them with acid in a breakthough which could revolutionise personalised medicine.
The era where organs and tissues can be re-grown is a step closer after scientists found treating adult cells with acid takes them back to an embryonic state in under 30 minutes.
Experts in the field of stem cells have hailed the research as groundbreaking and say, if replicated in humans, it would herald a new ‘age of personalised medicine.’
The number of serious traumatic spinal cord injuries is on the rise in the United States, and the leading cause no longer appears to be motor vehicle crashes, but falls, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
The same research shows, moreover, that rates of these injuries — whose symptoms range from temporary numbness to full-blown paralysis — are rising fastest among older people, suggesting that efforts to prevent falls in the elderly could significantly curb the number of spinal injuries.
People who have lost their limbs may no longer fear the prospect of paralysis, if researchers manage to perfect a wireless brain implant.
Research by BrainGate, a program that pools research from several universities, is drawing closer to allowing paralyzed patients use of their limbs through the implant.
Once used by Christopher Reeve, it was developed in part with funding from the Rick Hansen Institute.
Gabriel Abotossaway doesn’t sound like he can’t breathe on his own.
On the phone from his home in Manitoulin Island, the 22-year-old sounds like most men his age. But Gabriel has required help breathing since a 2011 car accident rendered him a high-level quadriplegic. He’s unable to move his diaphragm and breathe independently.
“Impossible is an opinion, to me it means IM-possible … Ironman possible.”
The inspirational words of South African triathlete Pieter du Preez after he became the first quadriplegic athlete to complete an Ironman event back in December at the Busselton event in Western Australia. With a finish time of 13 hours and 20 minutes, du Preez smashed the boundaries for what is possible and continues to lead the way in paratriathlon. Not prepared to bask in his world record breaking achievements, du Preez has big plans in place for 2014, with one word on his mind: Kona.
A new study suggests that patients with spinal cord injuries could benefit from careful assessment for sleep apnea.
Results show that 77 percent of spinal cord injury survivors had symptomatic sleep-disordered breathing, and 92 percent had poor sleep quality. The study also found that the nature of sleep-disordered breathing in patients with spinal cord injury is complex, with a high occurrence of both obstructive and central sleep apnea events.
A paralyzed man will receive experimental surgery connecting a brain chip to systems that activate muscles in his arm.
Doctors will attempt to reanimate a patient’s paralyzed arm with a pioneering surgery that involves capturing signals from his brain and restoring movement through a fine network of electronics linked to arm muscles.
The new effort, being planned by researchers at Case Western Reserve University, will use a brain computer interface, or BCI, developed by researchers at Brown University and Massachusetts General Hospital.
13 Years after a profoundly life altering accident, Motocross pro-rider Aaron Baker lives a life that few medical professionals would ever have believed possible.