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Monthly Archives: August 2014

DiveSTARS Teaches Scuba Diving To Disabled

Published: August 31, 2014

divestars(CBS) – When you have a spinal cord injury, use a wheelchair or have a developmental disability, everything on land can be a bit more challenging, but a Kankakee organization is offering a sense of freedom to the disabled through adaptive diving.

“Our whole goal is to work with adaptive divers whether they have some mental or physical challenges,” said DiveSTARS Founder Mike Milosovic.

Scientists recreate spinal, muscle and bone tissue with stem cells

Published: August 27, 2014

d068415028-jpgIt’s one of the latest efforts to remake tissue in the lab. The discovery could lead to more research into human development and disease progression.

Using stem cells, scientists have recreated the cells that form an embryo’s spinal cord, muscle and bone tissue. This will help researchers further study embryonic development and possibly, one day, disease progression.

Neuro-mesodermal progenitors (NMPs) — the particular cells that form the spinal cord, muscle and skeleton — begin their transformation once given the go-ahead by certain chemical signals in the body.

Inspirational Story of a Quadriplegic Gamer Who Streams Diablo 3 on His Twitch Account

Published: August 27, 2014

After a construction accident left him paralyzed from the neck down 20 years ago, Ken Worrall has been confined to a chair and left in the care of others.

Stem cell breakthrough for ‘Cinderella cells’

Published: August 27, 2014

stem-cellsThe specialized cells that go on to form the spinal cord, muscle and bone tissue in a growing embryo have been produced in the laboratory using stem cells for the first time.

The spinal cord, muscle and skeleton cells are all formed from cells called neuro-mesodermal progenitors (NMPs). A process of carefully timed chemical signals in the growing embryo instructs NMPs to turn into the different cells required for these body parts.

Stem cell trial for spinal cord injuries cleared by FDA

Published: August 27, 2014

michael-west-asteriasAn experimental treatment using controversial embryonic stem cells to fix severe spinal cord injuries has new life under a new company.

Asterias Biotherapeutics Inc. of Menlo Park received Food and Drug Administration clearance Wednesday to go forward with a 13-person safety study of so-called oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, or OPCs. Those cells, derived from embryonic stem cells, are thought to stimulate the growth of new nerve cells around the spinal cord and could help paralyzed patients regain movement.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Raising Awareness And Millions

Published: August 26, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket ChallengeUnless you live under a rock (or aren’t on Facebook or Twitter), you’ve probably heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Yes, all those people bombing your newsfeed by posting videos of themselves getting a bucket of ice water dumped on them are actually doing it for a specific charitable and good cause. 

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a gradual neurodegenerative disease that affects brain and spinal cord nerve cells. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons from the brain to the spinal cord and the spinal cord to the body’s muscles ultimately lead to the neurons dying.

Experimental Drug Being Tested at Shepherd Center May Improve Mobility after Spinal Cord Injury

Published: August 25, 2014

800_spineandbodyillustration-shepherdcenter-horizontalOnly hours after a traumatic spinal cord injury, when the life-and-death moments have passed and ongoing challenges are just coming into focus, some patients are receiving an experimental drug that may change their lives.

The investigational medication, called SUN13837, is given intravenously within 12 hours of a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) and then daily for 28 days. It is a fat-soluble molecule that may protect damaged neurons and even promote new nerve growth, preventing some loss of function.

Quadriplegic former racer’s first exhibition opens at Trinity

Published: August 20, 2014

Roger Pedrick at the Trinity TheatreQuadriplegic former racing-car-driver Roger Pedrick, who was injured in a Formula Ford testing accident at Brands Hatch almost four decades ago, has opened the first exhibition of his paintings, Unity in Community, at the Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells.

The exhibition was opened on Friday (August 15) by Pedrick’s long-time friend and ex-Formula 1 driver Jonathan Palmer, whose MotorSport Vision group currently operates the Kent circuit.

Pedrick’s quadriplegia means he has very limited movement below the shoulders and as a result he paints with a brush between his teeth.

Ice Bucket Challenge Continues: What Is It All For?

Published: August 19, 2014

ice-bucket-challengeThe ice bucket challenge continues but there are many asking what it is all for. The challenge is now reaching other parts of the world, and many have not been fully clued into the reason behind it. Many on Facebook are questioning the mentality of those throwing buckets of ice water over their heads.

While there are now many charities claiming they started it, the ALS Association officially encouraged people to donate money after throwing buckets of ice water over their heads. The water temporarily affects the body’s muscles and nervous system, making it difficult to move limbs and even breathe. These are some of the symptoms that ALS sufferers have, but for the long-term.

Stem Cell Research ‘Holy Grail’ Uncovered, Thanks to Zebrafish

Published: August 19, 2014

bloodtestWith help from the zebrafish, a team of Australian researchers has uncovered how hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) renew themselves, considered by many to be the ‘holy grail’ of stem cell research.

HSCs are a significant type of stem cell present in the blood and bone marrow. These are needed for the replenishment of the body’s supply of blood and immune cells. HSCs already play a part in transplants in patients with blood cancers such as leukemia and myeloma. The stem cells are also studied for their potential to transform into vital cells including muscle, bone, and blood vessels.

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