Monthly Archives: October 2015
When we first met Joshua Smith back in March, he introduced us to the Sixth-Digit. It’s a lofty invention, which allows people who don't have adequate use of their arms and hands to type and press buttons easier. Now, just six months later, Josh's invention has sparked a lot of interest.
A pioneering surgical technique has restored some hand and arm movement to patients immobilized by spinal cord injuries in the neck, reports a new study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Like railroad switchmen, the focus is on rerouting passageways; however, instead of trains on a track, the surgeons redirect peripheral nerves in a quadriplegic’s arms and hands by connecting healthy nerves to the injured nerves. Essentially, the new nerve network reintroduces conversation between the brain and the muscles that allows patients, once again, to accomplish tasks that foster independence, such as feeding themselves or writing with a pen.
Josh delivered the Keynote Address at the 2015 Working 2 Walk Symposium. He suffered a spinal cord injury in 2004 and since that time has been an engaged advocate, providing resources for the community through his websites for Determined2Heal and SPINALpedia, and continuing to educate himself about spinal cord injury research and therapies. This year SPINALpedia was one of the sponsors of W2W. Josh Basile, a quadriplegic and spinal cord injury research advocate is a lawyer from Bethesda. His speech “Advocating with Your Body and Mind” was on the importance of keeping our bodies healthy so they’re ready for possible therapies.
Regardless of circumstance, Michelle Barnhart has always lived her life with a positive mental attitude. Barnhart, 28, of Rindge, was left paralyzed from the waist down after an ATV accident on April 23, 2013. Rather than letting the severity of her injury get the best of her, Barnhart will be using her experiences in the coming months to help others recover from similar injuries.
Olfactory ensheathing cells for spinal cord repair: crucial differences between subpopulations of the glia
Is repairing the injured spinal cord by olfactory ensheathing cell (OEC) transplantation possible? A recent human trial in which a paralysed man regained some function after transplantation of partially purified OECs suggests that this therapy may be a successful approach.
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