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.
State-of-the-Art Device Allows Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury to Stand and Walk; Regulatory Clearances in USA and Europe Pave the Way for Commercialization
CLEVELAND, March 10, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Parker Hannifin Corporation (NYSE: PH), the global leader in motion and control technologies, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given clearance to market and sell the Indego® exoskeleton for clinical and personal use in the United States. The company intends to commercially launch the device in the United States in the coming months.
American insurance providers are being faced with an interesting health care debate: Should walking be considered a need?
At the center of this debate are exoskeletons — motorized devices that allows those with spinal cord injuries to stand upright and walk. So far, the ReWalk system is the only exoskeleton in the United States that has been approved by the FDA. However, it costs close to $70,000.
ReWalk announced that a commercial health plan will provide coverage for a personal exoskeleton system.
“Bionic spinal cord” could give extra function and mobility to users of mobility assist devices.
A ‘revolutionary’ device implanted in a brain blood vessel may one day enable people with spinal cord injuries to walk again, say Melbourne researchers.
The brain machine interface consists of a stent-based electrode (stentrode), which is implanted within a blood vessel next to the brain, and records the type of neural activity that has been shown in pre-clinical trials to move limbs through an exoskeleton or to control bionic limbs.
A joint team from Kessler Foundation and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is developing new applications for wearable robotic exoskeleton devices with a $5 million federal grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research.
Researchers from the two institutions are working together on the next generation of robotic exoskeletons to improve mobility and to enable safer, more independent functioning for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI), Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and stroke. The team will also evaluate the efficacy of existing robots for restoring and expanding mobility to upper and lower extremities.
Even when life becomes too hectic for Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, she finds a way to progress in her spinal cord rehabilitation.
For 2 ½ months, she was traveling so extensively for speaking engagements that her weekly work with physical therapist Al Biemond at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix had to be put on hold.
Thrust into a role as a spokeswoman for spinal cord injury research because of the fame that comes with six Olympic gold medals, Van Dyken-Rouen accepts her obligation to fly around the country — never easy or painless — to spread a message that many other paraplegics aren’t invited to deliver.
As we cross the threshold into 2016, we are one step closer to our goal of finding a cure for paralysis.
Moving full speed ahead towards that goal, Conquer Paralysis Now compiled a brief retrospective. 2015 has been an incredible year for spinal cord injury research, with breakthroughs in a variety of potential treatments, on top of important strides made by individuals with SCI. Take a look at some key milestones from this past year and stay tuned for what’s to come in 2016. Happy New Year!
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Issues National Coverage Policy for ReWalk Robotics Exoskeleton Systems...
Landmark Policy Will Provide Veterans Across the U.S. with Access to Evaluation, Training and Supply of ReWalk Personal Systems
YOKNEAM ILIT, Israel and MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Dec. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — ReWalk Robotics Ltd. (Nasdaq: RWLK) (“ReWalk”), the leading global exoskeleton developer and manufacturer, announced today that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) has issued a national policy for the evaluation, training and procurement of ReWalk Personal exoskeleton systems for all qualifying veterans across the United States.
TOKYO — Japan’s health ministry approved on Wednesday sale of a wearable walk-assist robot for use in medical facilities, underscoring the government’s push to promote such products as part of growth strategy.
The HAL for Medical Use, lower limb type, from startup Cyberdyne is the first wearable medical robot approved for sale in Japan.
The product is designed for use in healthcare facilities by patients with eight incurable conditions including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, and spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, given height and weight requirements.
Denny Ross – paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident – has gone from counting his steps to counting kilometres, attempting to finish a five kilometre race with the use of a ReWalk exoskeleton on Saturday.
“It’s a huge step,” he said with a laugh while taking part in the N.E.R.D. Run at William Hawrelak Park, an annual fundraiser supporting the University of Alberta’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute.
Ross has been using the exoskeleton as part of a pilot study examining the effects of using the ReWalk device, purchased by the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Society in 2014 and leased to the university for the trial.