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News

Next Meeting


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 572-3376.
---Please plan to attend---

LAST MEETING
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/

ROBOTIC TREADMILL
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 were hurt.
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," he said.

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

NOTE: 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.