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.
Meg Alexander and her boyfriend, Brett Greenhill, had one of the best proposal scenes. Brett proposed to Meg after the two completed a 5-mile run together. Meg accepted, and they were one of the happiest couples around.
But on Dec. 2, 2016, their world came crashing down—it was their bachelor/bachelorette party in Naples, Florida, and both of them had invited friends to join them. The couple wanted to make their bachelor party really special.
Patients with spinal cord injury or disease (SCI/D) are 3 to 4 times more likely to have sleep disordered breathing (SDB) than individuals in the general population. The prevalence of SDB — both central and obstructive sleep apnea — ranges from 27% to 82% in patients with subacute and chronic SCI/D.
The Why and How of SDB in SCI
The type of spinal cord injury affects the prevalence of SDB; patients with quadriplegia are more likely to have SDB than patients with paraplegia.
Quadriplegic turned inspirational speaker: “When you’re faced with adversity, you have two basic choices. Curse the darkness or light a candle.”
Billy Keenan said he had it all.
“At that moment in time, I was living my best life,” he said. “My wife and children were happy and healthy. At 46, I was in the best shape of my life. I was a competitive triathlete and surfer for the last decade.”
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.
A spinal cord injury means that the spinal cord of a person is damaged and the person cannot do things that they otherwise would have been able to do such as walking (mobility) or feeling in certain parts of their body.
The spinal cord of a person is roughly 50 centimetres in length and it spreads from the bottom of the brain to about the waist. It is a key bundle of nerves that facilitates communication between the brain and the rest of the body, giving instructions to initiate actions such as movement. It consists of 31 pairs of nerves which connect it to different parts of the body, with the nerves that are on the left connecting with the left side of the body and those that are on the right connecting with the right side of the body (WHO, 2010).
MAYWOOD, IL – Paralysis is just one of the many serious health problems faced by patients who suffer spinal cord injuries.
Spinal cord patients also are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease; pneumonia; life-threatening blood clots; bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction; constipation and other gastrointestinal problems; pressure ulcers; and chronic pain, according to a report published in the journal Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports.
In a few days, Drew Cumpson will be marking the fifth anniversary of an event that dramatically changed his life — but one which he can’t remember.
If he needs to recall the exact date, he only need look at his left arm. Tattooed there is “05/10/11,” along with the words by which he has tried to live ever since: Keep Fighting, Keep Smiling, Stay Strong.
It is all a reminder of the trip Cumpson took to Peru back in May 2011 where a freak accident left him a quadriplegic.
Patient Undergoes Pioneering Procedures by Surgeons from The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction
SHREWSBURY, N.J., May 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — In August 2012, Andrew Brown was on his way home from seeing his young son in the hospital for a surgical procedure when his life was forever changed. Brown was involved in an automobile accident, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.
Subsequently, he had enormous difficulty breathing, often requiring mechanical ventilation, which put him in the hospital every month last year.
It’s the hugs that Jay Hawthorne misses most.
A ventilator-dependent quadriplegic for the last 15 years, Hawthorne used to enjoy feeling his grandmother’s comforting presence envelop him. A ladies’ man, he used to bench press 350 pounds and run 5 miles just for fun.
He used to be able to whistle without feeling winded.
After falling from 14 feet in a construction accident, the Hockessin iron worker broke his neck and resigned himself to spending the rest of his life in a $20,000 chair.