Tag: National Institutes of Health
On any given day up to 25 individuals with varied disabilities are hard at work in the EP!C Hub computer lab in Peoria, earning a paycheck and cultivating independence thanks to assistive technology.
The Hub has a variety of adaptive equipment, including specialized keyboards and screen-reading software. Hub workers with disabilities design and print flyers, posters and calendars; create business cards; and even make and sell their own greeting cards.
“Technology definitely helps them to work and live a more rewarding fulfilling productive life. Because a lot of them have those abilities; they just need a little bit of assistance,” said Lauren Coyle, EP!C’s director of specialized programs.
In a Stanford-led research report, three participants with movement impairment controlled an onscreen cursor simply by imagining their own hand movements.
A clinical research publication led by Stanford University investigators has demonstrated that a brain-to-computer hookup can enable people with paralysis to type via direct brain control at the highest speeds and accuracy levels reported to date.
Newswise — Balance is an essential component of daily life, something many of us take for granted. But not everyone can. In the United States alone, there are about 300,000 people living with spinal cord injury (SCI) and some 12,000 new SCI cases each year, most of them young adults, 80% of them men. The recovery of motor functions—walking, standing, and balance—after a SCI is slow and limited, can be highly variable, and can take months or even years. The cost of care for SCI patients is enormous—annually over $3 billion. Studies have shown, however, that activity-based interventions offer a promising approach, and Sunil Agrawal, professor of mechanical engineering and of rehabilitation and regenerative medicine at Columbia Engineering, is at the forefront of research efforts to improve recovery through the development of novel robotic devices and interfaces that help patients retrain their movements.
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.
Standing in one place is exercise for Frank Muegge, 57. “I stand for an hour a day to prevent bone problems like osteoporosis.”
Muegge is paralyzed from the armpits down, the result of a car accident about 10 years ago. His arms work, but his hands don’t.
His paralysis is why he’s surrounded by advanced exercise equipment such as the machine that uses electrodes to stimulate his muscles. “The muscles still can work,” he said. “They just don’t get the signals from the brain.
Restoring function after spinal cord injury, which damages the connections that carry messages from the brain to the body and back, depends on forming new connections between the surviving nerve cells. While there are some delicate surgical techniques that reconnect the nerves, researchers are also looking at ways to restore the connections themselves at a cellular level.
With a five-year, nearly $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health