For our next meeting we will be attending a special event on Saturday October 30th
at 6:30 p.m. in the Holling Center Centennial Room at Immanuel Medical Center.
Michael B. Richardson of Hico, Texas, will be giving a motivational speech on "Turning
Problems into Opportunities". Horses have been a big part of Michael's life since
childhood. After a jeep accident left him a paraplegic, Michael discovered he had
to approach horsemanship from a new perspective, a perspective which taught him a
better and more positive way to communicate with horses. The result is training
methodologies that will help even the most able-bodied learn how to achieve better
performance by creating a horse and rider team.
This event is being sponsored by the Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy
and Alegent Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Center. A $5.00 donation per
person is requested. You must call Jena at 572-2276 to register. However, ENWISCIA
will pay the requested donation for you if you RSVP with us by calling Brian at
573-6904 by Friday, October 29. You must, however, still register with Jena at
---Please plan to attend---
At our last meeting we toured the new exercise room at the Great Plains Paralyzed
Veterans of America. The exercise equipment was demonstrated by Steve Zaracki of
the Adaptive Sports and Recreation program. The program offers a variety of classes
including Weight Training and Conditioning, Martial Arts and Self-Defense, Wheelchair
Tennis, Basketball, and Seated Exercise.
If you are interested in enrolling in exercise classes at the PVA, call (402) 398-1422.
ACCESSIBLE HOUSING PROGRAM
The hallmark program of ABILITY Awareness, a non-profit organization founded in
1995, is the ABILITY House. Created by ABILITY Awareness, in conjunction with Habitat
for Humanity International, the ABILITY House is an affordable, accessible home
built for a low-income family where one or more members has a disability. The unique
aspect of the ABILITY House program is in the utilization of volunteers with disabilities
during all phases of construction, emphasizing their abilities and talents.
The purposes of the ABILITY House program are to provide affordable, accessible
housing for low-income families where one or more members have a disability, to
make decent shelter that is accessible and visitable a matter of public conscience,
and to highlight the skills, volunteering potential and mentoring capabilities of
people with disabilities.
For more information go to: www.abilityhouse.com/
Doctors hope a robotic device called the Lokomat, using automated locomotion therapy,
can help some patients walk again.
The Swiss-made device uses harnesses as part of its safety devices. The robot-assisted
training system supports patients in a parachute harness while moving their legs
on a treadmill. It creates a smooth repetitive motion that may help to stimulate
areas of the spinal cord that are thought to control the ability to walk.
Dr. Peter H. Gorman, a neurologist who is chief of rehabilitation and director of
the spinal cord injury program at Kernan Hospital in Baltimore, said this experimental
robotic treadmill offers repetitive motion.
"Repetitive motion stimulates neuronal circuits we think still exist in the
lower part of the spine," he said. "Our goal is to see if this type of
repetitive motion will, over the course of weeks and months, restore the ability
of some patients to walk again."
The neuronal circuits are thought to be largely responsible for a person's ability
to walk. Gorman is studying whether the robotic treadmill will help patients with
partial spinal cord injuries regain function even more than 18 months after they
Kernan Hospital is using Lokomat to treat people who have had a stroke or a partial,
or incomplete, spinal cord injury who meet certain weight and strength criteria
and have some motor control. Lokomat can be adjusted to a patient's height, weight,
strength and individual treatment program.
The Lokomat at Kernan is one of only 12 in the United States. Kernan bought the
Lokomat for $235,000 with the help of a donation from Snow Time Inc., a company
that operates ski resorts in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York.
For more information and to view a video, go to: www.hocoma.ch/
POSSIBLE PARALYSIS CURE EXCITES SCIENTISTS
Sydney - Australian scientists believe they have given fresh hope to the wheelchair-bound
by isolating the molecule that stops damaged nerves in the spinal cord from repairing
themselves, news reports said on September 18.
Researchers around the world had suspected one of a number of molecules was blocking
the regeneration process. Scientists at Brisbane's University of Queensland, in
conjunction with colleagues at the University of Melbourne, think that a protein
called EPHA4 is the rogue molecule.
"This looks like it might be the most important molecule discovery to date,"
Professor Perry Bartlett, director of Queensland University's Brain Institute, told
The Sydney Morning Herald. "We're fairly excited about it, to say the least."
The Australian researchers found that removing EPHA4 from mice with damaged spinal
cords led to recovery. The report said that the test mice were able to grasp objects
with limbs that previously were paralyzed. Dr. Bartlett said the next task would
be to come up with strategies that stop the EPHA4 molecule from triggering in humans
in the hours and days after a paralysis-inducing injury.
"If we can block that molecule shortly after accidents, we predict it would
lead to regrowth of the nerve processes and therefore lead to recovery of function,"
BAD DRIVERS TO HELP FUND SCI RESEARCH
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney recently signed the Spinal Cord Injury Trust
Bill. The legislation raises money for SCI research from fees paid by people who
want to reinstate a suspended or revoked driver's license.
The new law adds a $50 surcharge to existing fees, which range between $100 and
$1,200, depending on the transgression. An average of 32,700 Massachusetts drivers
reinstate their licenses each year.
The legislation is expected to raise $900,000 to $1.5 million. Half of the total
funds generated will be earmarked for SCI research and the rest will be directed
to a general fund. New Jersey, one of several states with a similar law, raises
about $3.5 million annually for research.
ON THE SHELVES
Living with Spinal Cord Injury: A Wellness Guide explores the medical as well as
nonmedical problems SCI folks can expect as they become older. Author Adrian Cristian,
M.D., identifies some of the major challenges associated with aging-such as health,
finances, and social support system-and offers advice on how to tackle these issues.
For more information, visit www.demosmedpub.com or www.barnesandnoble.com
We welcome comments and suggestions regarding our newsletter. If you have an article to contribute or suggestions for topics, please let us know.
This newsletter is written by the ENWISCIA, distribution is courtesy of Immanuel Medical Center.