It all started with rain-soaked wheelchair tire treads that patterned across the driveway of Jeremy Bigelow’s Holland home.
“I was driving through puddles in my driveway one day, and seeing the tracks all over the place, and I thought it would be cool to somehow paint my tires and put it on canvas,” said Bigelow, a quadriplegic since he injured his spinal cord in a car crash in 2010.
That revelation might have been the catalyst for a burgeoning art career that Bigelow says he never expected when this whole adventure began, but those closest to him would say it’s his attitude that propelled him into the Toledo area’s creative scene.
Scientists report in Nature Neuroscience they have identified an underlying cause of dangerous immune suppression in people with high level spinal cord injuries and they propose a possible treatment.
In the journal’s April 18 online edition, researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University write that spinal cord injuries higher than thoracic level 5 (T5) cause autonomic nervous system circuitry to develop a highly adaptable state of plasticity. The autonomic nervous system controls bodily functions that are not consciously directed – like breathing, heartbeat, digestion and immune function.
A quadriplegic man has been able to move his fingers, hand and wrist after having a tiny computer chip implanted in his brain. The neuroprosthetic device, which is smaller than a pea, translates neural activity in order to activate paralysed muscles.
Ian Burkhart, a 24-year-old from Ohio, was paralysed following a diving accident six years ago. The injury to his spinal cord left him unable to move his arms and legs. Paralysis is caused by a disruption of signal pathways between the brain and muscles. Previously, researchers have been able to restore movement in humans with the aid of robotics or assistive devices, but movements without these aids has only ever been achieved in non-human primates.
Ryan Atkins was on path to graduate from UC when a devastating 2009 car accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Six years later, he completes the journey.
THAT FALL PROMISED TO BE HIS BEST EVER.
Ryan Atkins was in his third year at the University of Cincinnati on a full scholarship through the prestigious Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS business program. His beloved UC football team was undefeated that season and on their way to the Sugar Bowl. Thanksgiving break loomed, bookended by a jaunt to New York for a college conference and a trip to Europe that spring.