Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand was paralyzed in an October 16, 2010 college football game, fracturing his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae. Continue Reading »
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Spinal cord regeneration might actually be helped by glial scar tissue, contrary to conventional wisdom
UCLA research finds that nerve cells regrow better when glial scarring is left intact
Neuroscientists have long believed that scar tissue formed by glial cells — the cells that surround neurons in the central nervous system — impedes damaged nerve cells from regrowing after a brain or spinal cord injury. So it’s no wonder that researchers have assumed that if they could find a way to remove or counteract that scar tissue, injured neurons might spontaneously repair themselves.
A new study by UCLA scientists now shows that this assumption might have been impeding research on repairing spinal cord injuries. Continue Reading »
LOS ANGELES — There are tiny rat treadmills in the lab. And jars of Nutella, also for the rats. There are video cameras, heaps of electrodes, and instruments for slicing frozen brain tissue.
And in the center of it all: Reggie Edgerton, a 75-year-old physiologist who has spent four decades on a stubborn quest to prove, in the face of scientific ridicule, that severed spinal cords can be jolted back to life — and that paralyzed patients need not be paralyzed forever.
Now, he’s got the data to prove it. Continue Reading »
For first time, researchers show functional benefit in animal model of key motor control system
Writing in the March 28, 2016 issue of Nature Medicine, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, with colleagues in Japan and Wisconsin, report that they have successfully directed stem cell-derived neurons to regenerate lost tissue in damaged corticospinal tracts of rats, resulting in functional benefit. Continue Reading »
After inventing the first-ever untethered bionic exoskeleton, he broke from his former company. Now this inventor is back with another breakthrough.
The man behind the first untethered bionic exoskeleton is back with a new robotic suit.
Homayoon Kazerooni led the team that developed BLEEX, the first viable actuated suit that didn’t need to be plugged in, back in 2005. Groundbreaking at the time, the technology was eventually spun off into Ekso Bionics, long a darling of the Bay Area hardware scene. Continue Reading »
A paralyzing injury to the neck during recreational activities such as horseback riding or playing football usually has permanent, lifelong effects that change a person’s life dramatically. With no options for the repair of spinal cord injuries, many are left with little hope for recovery.
Now researchers at Rush are exploring a new therapy that uses stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries within the first 14 to 30 days of injury. Rush is one of only two centers in the country currently studying this new approach. Continue Reading »
United Spinal Association will host a free webinar on March 31st at 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. EDT, on how to obtain a wheelchair that fits the unique needs of each person living with a spinal cord injury or disorder (SCI/D).
The webinar will be of value to both wheelchair users and clinicians. It will provide an update on the status of important wheelchair legislation and policies that affect people living with SCI/D. Continue Reading »
Injuries to the spinal cord partially or completely disrupt the neural pathways between the brain and the limbs. The consequences for the representation of the affected limbs in the brain can be drastic. Researchers have now measured how severely this representation is affected.
A strange sensation, but familiar to anyone who has ever been given local anaesthesia and watched while a doctor operated on their leg or arm: in that moment, your own body part seems foreign, as if it doesn’t belong to your body. One reason for this is that the brain still knows which position the limb occupied before the local anaesthetic took effect. As soon as it wears off, the spooky sensation disappears. Continue Reading »
Spinal cord injury patients in Australia call for national register to help track treatment, outcomes
Spinal cord injury experts in Australia have lobbied the Federal Government to establish a national register tracking the treatment and condition of patients.
Advocates believe more data could save the health system millions of dollars and improve the outcomes of people living with spinal cord injury (SCI).
Chris Bertinshaw from the Australiasian SCI Network said very little data was kept on people living with a spinal injury. Continue Reading »
Researchers from King’s College London and the University of Oxford have identified a molecular signal, known as ‘neuregulin-1’, which drives and enables the spinal cord’s natural capacity for repair after injury.
The findings, published today in Brain, could one day lead to new treatments which enhance this spontaneous repair mechanism by manipulating the neuregulin-1 signal.
Every year more than 130,000 people suffer traumatic spinal cord injury (usually from a road traffic accident, fall or sporting injury) and related healthcare costs are among the highest of any medical condition – yet there is still no cure or adequate treatment. Continue Reading »