Tag: Functional Electrical Stimulation
Researchers restore complete respiratory muscle function
VA doctors are among a team of researchers at the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation Center restoring respiratory muscle function to Veterans and individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI).
Doctors Anthony DiMarco and Krzysztof Kowalski developed the first method in the world that can activate expiratory muscles (abdominal and lower rib cage muscles), using minimally invasive techniques to produce an effective cough.
Electrical stimulation has promised huge gains for people with paralysis. Now comes the hard part — getting beyond those first steps.
Rob Summers was flat on his back at a rehabilitation institute in Kentucky when he realized he could wiggle his big toe. Up, down, up, down. This was new — something he hadn’t been able to do since a hit-and-run driver left him paralysed from the chest down. When that happened four years earlier, doctors had told him that he would never move his lower body again. Now he was part of a pioneering experiment to test the power of electrical stimulation in people with spinal-cord injuries.
In another major clinical breakthrough of the Walk Again Project, a nonprofit international consortium aimed at developing new neurorehabilitation protocols, technologies, and therapies for spinal cord injury, two patients with paraplegia regained the ability to walk with minimal assistance, via a fully non-invasive brain-machine interface that does not require the use of any invasive spinal cord surgical procedure. The results of this study appeared in the May 1 issue of Scientific Reports.
What if paralyzed limbs could move using only the power of one’s thoughts? Borrowing a story line from the realm of science fiction, a team of researchers at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis—together with neurosurgeons and biomedical engineers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine—are using a brain-machine interface to make this once seemingly impossible feat a reality for victims of spinal cord injury (SCI). Seeking innovative ways to restore function after SCI is one of the central goals for The Miami Project, which was founded in 1985 and has grown to become one of the “crown jewels” of the Miller School of Medicine—and a model for other institutions developing centers for SCI research.
For many individuals with spinal cord injury, restoring autonomic functions – such as blood pressure control, bowel, bladder and sexual function – is of a higher priority than walking again.
Paralysis (loss of muscle function) is the most visible consequence of a spinal cord injury. Historically, there have been few significant advances in the treatment of such paralysis in individuals with long-term injuries.
In the United States, more than 280,000 people—including 42,000 military veterans—are affected by spinal cord injury (SCI), including limb weakness and paralysis. While rehabilitation can be helpful, the benefits are slow and inadequate to restore patients’ lost independence. A team of researchers at Cleveland Clinic is trying to speed recovery using noninvasive brain stimulation.
Ela B. Plow, PhD, PT, of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, recently received a four-year, $2.5 M award from the Department of Defense (DoD) to lead a brain stimulation study in patients with paralyzed upper limbs due to SCI. The award was granted under the DoD’s Spinal Cord Injury Research Program.
If eye-gaze technology, motion sensor tracking and functional electrical stimulation sound like secret weapons of the CIA, you’d be half right. Much of the newfangled equipment in use for those with medical disabilities came out of technology originally designed for the government. Now, it’s helping injured and ill people with life’s basic needs.
Former Saints player Steve Gleason, diagnosed with ALS in 2011, propels his custom wheelchair with only a glance.
“I have an infrared eye tracker that is connected to my laptop and serves as my control center,” said Gleason.
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) patients come to Burke’s inpatient acute rehabilitation program directly from the hospital/trauma center where they were treated and stabilized to prevent further damage to the spinal cord. Once at Burke, an intensive rehabilitation phase begins.
Physical therapy is crucial at this stage, because many of the gains the patient will make in movement happen during this time. Strengthening muscles and improving flexibility shapes the individual’s ability to make ongoing progress afterwards.
ROCHESTER, Minn. – Mayo Clinic researchers used electrical stimulation on the spinal cord and intense physical therapy to help a man intentionally move his paralyzed legs, stand and make steplike motions for the first time in three years.
The case, the result of collaboration with UCLA researchers, appears today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Researchers say these results offer further evidence that a combination of this technology and rehabilitation may help patients with spinal cord injuries regain control over previously paralyzed movements, such as steplike actions, balance control and standing.
First recipient of implanted brain-recording and muscle-stimulating systems reanimates limb that had been stilled for eight years.