09 December 2017

"An unexpected success story". Really? I'd like more info. PART II

Just so you know, this post is Part II. If you haven't yet read it, Part I is here.

It took me a little time to get back to Part II as I've been waiting on some information. It hasn't all arrived yet, but I figure I'll get down what information I can now.


Sine it's been a few weeks I'll make a short round up of Part I...
  • Epidural stimulation trials on standing and stepping at the University of Louisville, supported by the Christopher & Donna Reeve Foundation (CDRF), receive new press attention after the lead researcher Susan Harkema published a paper with her results.
  • But more importantly, already as early as October 2014 (and probably before that too), the CDRF website reported that, "Even more surprisingly, all four participants experienced significant improvements in autonomic functions, including bladder, bowel and sexual function, as well as temperature regulation."
  • After this I contacted some folks at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Engineering (NIH) who explained to me that they had put together a consortium back in 2015 of doctors, researchers, scientists with "the therapeutic goal is improving key autonomic functions - bladder, bowel, and sexual - effectively and safely".
  • This got me thinking even more about the return of BBS that was already reported so I contacted the lab in Louisville to see if they would be doing a proper study of BBS from now on. Great news is that BBS will be part of the ongoing study.
First of all, I want to admit that I am cynical about the role of epidural stimulation in regards to any real cure for paralysis. I don't think that the current return of some motor function would do much to really improve quality of life. 

Why? Well, as reported, after many years, I believe it was 2011, one of the subjects is able to stand up. Not step, but stand up. So I just don't see how we can expect wide scale use when six years of locomotor training has to go into it just for the end result to be standing up.

BUT...

14 November 2017

"An unexpected success story". Really? I'd like more info. PART I

This is a story about BBS (bladder, bowel, and sexual function) return, but you'll have to stay with me a bit to follow.

I was pleased to read the following stories in Newsweek (Paralysed man surprises scientists by standing and moving on his own) and Science Daily (Individual with complete spinal cord injury regains voluntary motor function). Very short summary; extended activity-based training with epidural stimulation resulted in the ability for a man with a complete spinal cord injury to stand and move without stimulation six years post injury. The study was done at the University of Louisville in Kentucky and funded by CDRF (Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation), and others through their Big Idea project.


04 November 2017

Help Wanted! Curing paralysis together

Hello. I'm now currently working on the next blog article, it's about peeing and other things that many of us with a screwed up spinal cord can't do so well.

I've been in touch with some interesting people who are helping me understand some facts for the next article, so please hold on about a week or so.

In the meantime, I'm always looking for help in running this blog, in fact, I'm even considering changing it over to a podcast or even a vlog. 

22 October 2017

Private vs Public money in the race to cure paralysis

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See, I'm back for the second post since my return, and maybe today I'm going to raise some controversy.

Did you have a chance to read the last post and it's link to "Tequila Shots for Cirrhosis Research"?


Before I become controversial, I want to write a disclaimer...

  • I appreciate all the private funds that have gone to curing paralysis.
  • I appreciate all the private efforts individuals have made to cycle, and wheel, and run, and walk to raise money to cure paralysis.
  • I thank you because for now, raising private funds is one way that we can work to cure paralysis.
But, is private charity the best way to fund medical research?

I often link to "Tequila Shots for Cirrhosis Research". Simply put, it's the story of Rick Hansen and his goal to wheel across the world to raise money for SCI research. This was just after Terry Fox and from a young age is what made me conscious of the idea of doing something extraordinary to raise funds from private individuals for medical research.