Jenny and Abby answer some of the webs most asked questions for people living with paralysis (specifically quadriplegia)!
For a brain-computer interface (BCI) to be truly useful for a person with tetraplegia, it should be ready whenever it’s needed, with minimal expert intervention, including the very first time it’s used. In a new study in the Journal of Neural Engineering, researchers in the BrainGate collaboration demonstrate new techniques that allowed three participants to achieve peak BCI performance within three minutes of engaging in an easy, one-step process.
One participant, “T5,” a 63-year-old man who had never used a BCI before, needed only 37 seconds of calibration time before he could control a computer cursor to reach targets on a screen, just by imagining using his hand to move a joystick.
Bottom Line: A team of neuroscientists has uncovered a neural network that can restore diaphragm function after spinal cord injury. The network allows the diaphragm to contract without input from the brain, which could help paralyzed spinal cord injury patients breathe without a respirator.
Journal in Which the Study was Published: Cell Reports
Author: Jared Cregg, Neurosciences graduate student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio is first author on the study.
Researchers grew human spinal cord neurons from stem cells and injected them into healthy mice, where they successfully connected with other neurons.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A drug developed during World War II as an antidote for a chemical warfare agent has been found to be effective at suppressing a neurotoxin that worsens the pain and severity of spinal cord injuries, suggesting a new tool to treat the injuries.
The neurotoxin, called acrolein, is produced within the body after nerve cells are damaged, increasing pain and triggering a cascade of biochemical events thought to worsen the injury’s severity.
For a soldier who suffered a spinal cord injury on the battlefield, the promise of regenerative medicine is to fully repair the resulting limb paralysis. But that hope is still years from reality.
Not only powerful, but efficient. Studying diseases in lab-created tissue may help reduce the price tag — now roughly $1.8 billion — for bringing a new drug to market, which is one of the reasons Ashton received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for advancing tissue engineering of the human spinal cord. During the project’s five-year funding period, his lab in the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery will fine-tune the technology for growing a neural tube, the developmental predecessor of the spinal cord, from scratch.
A UCLA professor is working to develop a treatment for spinal cord injuries, which are currently incurable.
Stephanie Seidlits, assistant professor of bioengineering, will attempt to use biomaterial made out of hyaluronic acid – a long chain of sugars in the body – to create a treatment that can be injected into spinal cords. Seidlits will conduct the research with students using a $500,000 grant she won March 1.
The prestigious CAREER award, granted by the National Science Foundation, aims to support scholars who effectively integrate research with education.
A UCLA professor is helping paralyzed individuals regain use of their limbs through electric stimulation of the spinal cord.
In 2015, Reggie Edgerton, the director of the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at UCLA, developed a robotic exoskeleton that helped a paralyzed man walk. Though the man is still paralyzed and cannot control the exoskeleton’s movement, Edgerton’s lab plans to do more research to make that happen.
Swiss researchers travel to China to conduct pioneering experiment.
For more than a decade, neuroscientist Grégoire Courtine has been flying every few months from his lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne to another lab in Beijing, China, where he conducts research on monkeys with the aim of treating spinal-cord injuries.