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Category Archives: Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

FSU Researcher Studying Ways To Treat Spinal Cord Injuries At Cellular Levels – Los Alamos Daily Post

Posted: September 4, 2017 at 7:43 pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Supported by a new $800,000 National Science Foundation grant, Florida State University College of Medicine Professor Yi Ren is studying the immune response to spinal cord injuries and how cellular functions contribute to paralysis and organ dysfunction.

While instant paralysis is an obvious point of fear in spinal cord injuries, a great deal of the damage actually takes place after the initial trauma.

Most of the research being done by scientists who focus on spinal cord injuries is about trying to prevent the secondary injury from happening, said Ren, a biomedical scientist and immunologist.

During a severe spinal cord injury, the myelin sheath that protects nerves and axons the central nervous systems primary transmission lines shatters into tiny pieces. As part of the bodys immune response to such an injury, damaged tissue in the area is filled with macrophages, white blood cells that ingest foreign material.

The macrophages job is to act as scavengers and clear myelin debris from the injury site to promote regeneration. Macrophages remain in the injured area for months or even years, which is not necessarily a good thing.

By absorbing debris, macrophages help to prevent inflammation and stimulate tissue healing. However, once the debris is consumed, the macrophages convert from healing cells to harmful killer cells, destroying axons and amplifying inflammation at the injury site.

Rens four-year study funded by the NSF grant aims to better understand the underlying mechanisms in this process.

After eating the myelin debris, the killer macrophages secrete a lot of inflammatory substances and molecules that participate in tissue damage, Ren said. We think this is one of the reasons for secondary injury, so now wed like to target it. We want to study the myelin-laden macrophages molecular pattern and find out what roles they play in the pathological process in a spinal cord injury.

The work will produce an extraordinary amount of data that Ren and her collaborators will use to develop a new statistical method of analysis. She hopes the acquired data will allow her team to find cellular and molecular clues to target local and systemic inflammation that can result from spinal cord injuries.

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FSU Researcher Studying Ways To Treat Spinal Cord Injuries At Cellular Levels – Los Alamos Daily Post

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InVivo slashes staff and ousts science chief – Boston Business Journal – Boston Business Journal

Posted: at 7:43 pm


Boston Business Journal
InVivo slashes staff and ousts science chief – Boston Business Journal
Boston Business Journal
The restructuring follows a setback in the Cambridge biotech's effort to win approval for a spinal cord injury treatment.

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Emergency spending authorized for VA program, but is it enough? – Hometown Focus

Posted: August 25, 2017 at 5:42 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. The day before the U.S. would lose two more American lives during combat operations in Iraq, President Donald Trump signed an emergency spending bill, the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act, that authorizes more than $2 billion for the Veterans Choice Program. At present, almost one-third of VA appointments are referred to the private sector, up from fewer than 20 % in 2014. The VAs annual budget of about $180 billion will provide $2.1 billion in funding for veterans health care in the community at government expense.

While the new law will draw attention largely because of the urgency in which it replenished the VAs healthcare budget a budget that has been depleting faster than expected since 2014 the new law also addresses other critical priorities aimed to improve the VA:

A bilateral exchange program for employeesin VA and the private sector to cross-trainproviders in both health care domains The development of training and annualperformance standards for employees andpreparing them for future leadership roleswithin the Department The establishment of promotion tracksdesigned to retain employees with specialexpertise Provisions to attract transitioning servicemembers and recently graduated collegestudents into employment opportunities withthe VA Training on recruitment and retention bestpractices for human resources professionals

These and several other initiatives will be funded for six months through offsets such as reduced pensions for some Medicaid-eligible veterans and the collection of fees for housing loans. The law also provides an additional $1.8 billion for core VA health programs, which includes leases for 28 new VA medical facilities.

Critics of the Veterans Choice Program, which had included this author in the past, insist that expanding care in the community is merely a slow walk to privatization. Others argue that offsetting the cost of expanded community care by reducing other veterans benefits is unconscionable and will lead the VA to a slippery slope where even more benefits will be cut. But these arguments ignore the more immediate problem created by understaffing in VA and the accountability vacuum, particularly among VAs senior middle management tiers, that has eclipsed all the great work VA has been doing.

Critics also disregard VA Secretary David Shulkins focus on investing in foundational services that are part of VAs national commitment to provide: spinal cord injury treatment and rehabilitation, blinded rehabilitation, inpatient mental health, prosthetics, and care coordination, some of which will be funded through budget apportionments at each facility at the direction of the Secretary.

As those debates continue, however, the bigger problem is what will happen when the Administration and Congress can no longer move the goal posts where funding VA health care is concerned. The six-month funding plan that was underwritten by the new law bought Congress more time to debate broader issues over VA funding and its future. But bad news doesnt improve with age, and the challenges may actually worsen if an incremental approach to investing in veterans healthcare doesnt pay off soon.

On a positive note, at least in my view, the status quo is dying a slow but certain death in VA. The newly signed law could be what keeps VA from dying with it. While it will do nothing for the two brave souls our country lost in Iraq on Sunday, it will give the health and wellness of the nine million veterans enrolled in the VA health care system a fighting chance.

Sherman Gillums, Jr., is the executive director of Paralyzed Veterans of America.

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Emergency spending authorized for VA program, but is it enough? – Hometown Focus

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Therapeutic Cocktail Could Restore Motor Skills After Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke – Bioscience Technology

Posted: August 19, 2017 at 5:44 pm

After spinal cord injury or stroke, axons originating in the brain’s cortex and along the spinal cord become damaged, disrupting motor skills. Now, according to new findings published today inNeuron, a team of scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital has developed a method to promote axon regrowth after injury.

The team developed a therapeutic cocktail of molecules, which they administered tomicewith either a spinal cordinjuryor stroke and observed that the mice were able to recoverfine motor skills.

“In our lab for the first time we have a treatment that allowed the spinal cord injury and the stroke model to regain functional recovery,” says senior author on the paper Zhigang He, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

He’s team designed the mixture by building off some of their earlier collaborative work with Dr. Joshua Sanes group at Harvard, in optical nerve injury, when they had observed that the combination of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and a protein called osteopontin (OPN) promoted nerve regrowth and vision improvement in optically-injured mice.

Regaining function after spinal cord injury

To investigate whether this combination would influence functional recovery, the team studied amouse modelof spinal cord injury to one side of the body. Without intervention after injury, the mice were gradually able to recover some majormotorfunction through natural resprouting of their axons. But, big shortfalls remained in their fine motor skills, making it difficult for them to walk on ladders with irregularly spaced rungs or retrieve food pellets.

In contrast, when the mice were injected with IGF1 and OPN one day after spinal cord injury, their fine motor skills greatly improved. By week 12, the team observed that the mice’s error rates on the irregular ladder dropped to 46 percent, performing strikingly better than the untreated control group, which still continued to make errors 70 percent of the time.

According to He, the improvement was caused by a boost in axon sprouting and regeneration that resulted from the therapeutic mixture.

Next, the team wondered if adding 4- aminopyridine-3-methanol, known to improve axon conduction, into their therapeutic cocktail would further enhance the mice’s functional recovery.

When they gave the cocktail of three molecules, they saw that the mice’s error rates in the irregular ladder task fell to 30 percent – only 10 percent higher than the healthy side.

Recovering motor function after stroke

Studying a mouse model of stroke, He’s team made a surprising observation.

“We saw what we expected – axon sprouting in spinal cord,” says He. “But we also found something unexpected – increased axon sprouting in the subcortical area.”

By genetic manipulation He’s team ablated the sprouted axons of the CST and found that the improvement diminished. This means thefunctional recoverywas not particularly dependent on sprouting in subcortical regions but on those in the spinal cord. “The functional outcomes of such subcortical sprouting remain to be tested,” He added.

Excited by their findings, He’s team is now in talks with rehabilitation centers to determine the prerequisites of ultimately taking this work to clinical trials.

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Therapeutic Cocktail Could Restore Motor Skills After Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke – Bioscience Technology

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Helmet improvements change the way paramedics, EMTs treat injured athletes on the sidelines – The Denver Post

Posted: at 5:44 pm

Advancements in the safety features on football helmets and other gear have changed best practices for first responders treating athletes on the sidelines.

St. Anthonys Hospital emergency-room doctors on Friday trained paramedics and emergency medical technicians from West Metro Fire Rescue on assessing and stabilizing injured high school and college football players. Theyll do it again on Thursday

The training focused on head and spinal-cord injuries.

We havent seen an uptick in this type of injury, West Metro Fire spokeswoman Ronda Scholting said. NFL concussion procedures have changed, so the protocols were introducing to paramedics, medics and EMTs are on how to best package a patient, whether from high school to the professional level.

St. Anthony Hospital sees 60,000 patients per year and 1 percent of those are categorized as sports-related injuries. Not all 600 of those patients are admitted for suspected brain trauma or concussion, but the start of the contact-sports season and updates to the safety features of football equipment means new approaches to treatment.

Football helmets now have air bladders in them that cushion the head, St. Anthony clinical nurse specialist Shawn Zembles. You can remove the helmet guard to access the face and neck without removing the full helmet.

First responders got practice removing different helmet models. Most are now fashioned to act as a securing device for the injured players head, neck and spine. Zembles said EMTs are advised to leave those on until the person has been transported to an emergency facility with officials who are properly trained to do the removal.

Likewise, first responders who once were advised to get an injured player out of their shoulder pads immediately, now are advised to leave the protective gear in place, Scholting said.

St. Anthony Hospital has a physician group that works with the Denver Broncos, and they seek to maintain standard operating procedures whether theyre dealing with an injured pro or a school-aged player.

Were not intending to scare any parent or child, hospital spokesman Jeremy Metz said. Any contact sport does have inherent dangers and we try to target our training with what is going on during the year. Its just a timely training for the community.

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Helmet improvements change the way paramedics, EMTs treat injured athletes on the sidelines – The Denver Post

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Miracle chemical ‘cocktail’ could cure spinal cord damage – New York Post

Posted: August 16, 2017 at 9:46 pm

A chemical cocktail could restore movement for people crippled after suffering spinal cord injuries, suggests new research.

Scientists say the mixture of three molecules could potentially be given therapeutically to patients to aid in their recovery after serious injury.

After spinal cord injury or stroke, axons originating in the brains cortex and along the spinal cord become damaged, disrupting motor skills.

Now, according to findings published in the journal Neuron, a team of scientists at Boston Childrens Hospital in the United States has developed a method to promote axon regrowth after injury.

They administered the therapeutic cocktail of molecules to mice with either a spinal cord injury or stroke and observed that the mice were able to recover fine motor skills.

Study senior author Doctor Zhigang He, of Boston Childrens Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said: In our lab, for the first time we have a treatment that allowed the spinal cord injury and the stroke model to regain functional recovery.

His team designed the mixture by building on earlier work from Dr. Joshua Sanes group at Harvard who focused on optical nerve injuries. Sanes observed that the combination of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and a protein called osteopontin (OPN) promoted nerve regrowth and vision improvement in optically-injured mice.

To investigate whether the combination would influence functional recovery, the team studied a mouse model of spinal cord injury to one side of the body.

Without intervention after injury, the mice were gradually able to recover some major motor function through natural resprouting of their axons.

But big shortfalls remained in their fine motor skills, making it difficult for them to walk on ladders with irregularly spaced rungs or retrieve food pellets.

In contrast, when the mice were injected with IGF1 and OPN one day after spinal cord injury, their fine motor skills greatly improved.

By week 12, the researchers observed that the mices error rates on the irregular ladder dropped to 46 percent, performing strikingly better than the untreated control group, which still continued to make errors 70 percent of the time.

He said the improvement was caused by a boost in axon sprouting and regeneration that resulted from the therapeutic mixture.

The team wondered if adding 4- aminopyridine-3-methanol, known to improve axon conduction, into their therapeutic cocktail would further enhance the mices functional recovery.

When they gave the cocktail of three molecules, they saw that the mices error rates in the irregular ladder task fell to 30 percent only 10 per cent higher than the healthy side.

Studying a mouse model of stroke, Hes team made a surprising observation.

He said: We saw what we expected, axon sprouting in the spinal cord.

But we also found something unexpected, increased axon sprouting in the subcortical area.

By genetic manipulation Hes team ablated the sprouted axons of the CST and found that the improvement diminished. That means the functional recovery was not particularly dependent on sprouting in subcortical regions but on those in the spinal cord.

He added: The functional outcomes of such subcortical sprouting remain to be tested.

He said that his team are now in talks with rehab centres to determine the prerequisites of ultimately taking their work forward to clinical trials.

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Miracle chemical ‘cocktail’ could cure spinal cord damage – New York Post

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New SpineScreen app helps parents detect signs of scoliosis in kids – Markets Insider

Posted: August 15, 2017 at 1:42 pm

TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ –Parents can now check their child’s spine for possible signs of scoliosis with the new app SpineScreendeveloped by Shriners Hospitals for Children. Available for free on the App Store and Google Play, SpineScreen detects curves as the cell phone is moved along a child’s back, giving parents a quick, informal way to regularly monitor their child’s spine.

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that can restrict movement and in some cases lead to other serious medical conditions. It is most commonly diagnosed between 10 and 15 years of age, when children grow rapidly. Some cases, however, can go undetected. At this point in a child’s life, fewer vaccinations are required, so they may see a doctor less often. Since early detection is crucial, Shriners Hospitals physicians encourage parents to download the free SpineScreen app and check kids as part of their back-to-school routine each year.

“Because there is often no known cause, monitoring for scoliosis is an important part of a child’s ongoing health care,” says Amer Samdani, M.D., chief of surgery for Shriners Hospitals for Children Philadelphia. He adds, “It is a progressive condition, so early detection is key. At Shriners Hospitals, our care ranges from routine monitoring to some of the most advanced treatments for scoliosis. The earlier we see a child, the more options we have available.”

Shriners Hospitals created the app as part of a broader initiative to highlight the importance of regular screenings and to educate parents on the signs of scoliosis and treatment options.

“With doctors and staff who are global leaders in the treatment of scoliosis care, parents turn to Shriners Hospitals for Children because they know their children will receive the best care possible,” Gary Bergenske, chairman of the Board of Directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children. “Since scoliosis usually requires ongoing medical treatment throughout childhood, our commitment to provide care regardless of the families’ ability to pay is a huge relief to parents.”

If you have immediate concerns about your child’s spine or other possible medical conditions, please consult your health care provider. For more information on scoliosis screenings, treatment options and to download the SpineScreen app, please visit shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/scoliosis.

About Shriners Hospitals for Children

Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Our 22 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Learn more at shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Contact: Meredith ResnickEmail: rel=”nofollow”>[email protected]: 202-549-0807

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SOURCE Shriners Hospitals for Children

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Man with spinal cord injury throws first pitch at Brewers game – Fox11online.com

Posted: August 14, 2017 at 3:50 am

by Gabrielle Mays, FOX 11 News

Lucas Lindner near the dugout at Sunday, Aug. 13 Brewers game. (Photo courtesy Scott Paulus with Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club)

MILWAUKEE (WLUK) — Sunday marked another milestone for a Fox Valley man as he threw the first pitch at Sunday’s Brewers game.

With a baseball in Lucas Lindner’s right hand, he moved his arm back and threw the ball right into the catcher’s mitt with ease.

The crowd cheered and Lindner couldn’t help but smile.

He suffered from a severe spinal cord injury after he crashed his truck last year. The crash left him paralyzed from the chest down.

Thanks to an experimental stem cell treatment called AST-OPC1, Lindner gained mobility in his arms, hands and fingers.

The procedure took place at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

FOX 11 did a story on Lindner last year.

“Throwing out the first pitch at a Major League game is not something I could have imagined a year ago. I want to show everyone that there is hope that spinal cord injury patients can regain function. I am looking forward to going back to school, pursuing my dream of working in the IT field and living independently someday,” Lindner said to Asterias Biotherapeutics.

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Veteran Goode back for Packers long snapper competition with rookie Hart – FOXSports.com

Posted: at 3:50 am

GREEN BAY, Wis. Brett Goode had quite an eventful week.

Returning to the Green Bay Packers was only part of it.

Last Monday morning, the veteran long snapper an unsigned free agent despite spending the past nine seasons with the Packers was still unemployed when his wife, Monica, went into labor with the couples second child.

Shortly after daughter Blakely arrived, Goode was on a plane from his home in Arkansas for a tryout with the New York Jets, one of a number of NFL teams that had called expressing interest in him.

Like, the baby was born and I left, Goode said Sunday, following his first practice with the Packers. My wife is a good wife.

Goode said he had been monitoring the Packers special teams issues kicker Mason Crosby had missed six of 11 field-goal attempts during the teams annual Family Night practice on Aug. 5 and was still hoping for a call from his old team, as hed received at the end of training camp last year.

Sure enough, the phone rang late in the week and by Saturday, Goode was on his way back to Green Bay, having signed to compete with rookie Derek Hart for his old job.

For now, Goode and Hart will compete for the job. During the Packers closed practice Sunday that was devoted to preparations for the teams Sept. 10 regular-season opener against Seattle, the long snappers both worked with holder Justin Vogel, a rookie punter, and Crosby, who has worked with Goode for virtually his entire NFL career.

It can go one of two ways. Either you bow down, or you stand up and improve and bring the best out of yourself and keep going, said Hart, whose snaps were solid during Thursday nights preseason opener. Crosby made a 39-yard field goal and three extra points in the Packers 24-9 win over Philadelphia.

Competition brings the best out of people, I think. (Goode) did it here for nine, 10 years, so I think any little thing I can pick up from him will be good, too, along the way. Were just going to keep truckin and see what happens.

Goode took over as the Packers long snapper in 2008 after veteran Rob Davis retired after 11 years on the job. Goode handled every special teams snap until suffering a season-ending knee injury in December 2015 in a game at Oakland. He then returned to the team just before last years regular-season opener and was the snapper all season. Crosby made 26 of 30 regular-season field goals and sent the Packers to the NFC championship game with a 51-yard game-winning field goal against Dallas, the longest walk-off field goal in NFL postseason history.

The Packers decided to go younger with Hart, but Goode said the Packers had indicated that they might call at the end of camp as they had last year. When Hart struggled and other teams in the league expressed an interest in Goode, the timeline changed.

I knew I was going to get a call at some point. I didnt know from whom, Goode said. Because of Mason being here and all the other guys that Ive been here with forever and obviously the coaches the way everythings run, you know how training camps run, you know the city its like home.

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Walker helps Brewers knock off Reds 7-4 – La Crosse Tribune

Posted: at 3:50 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) When Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell found out the Brewers had traded for Neil Walker, he immediately wanted to know if he could get the veteran infielder into the lineup for Sundays game against Cincinnati.

After collecting just 3 hours of sleep, Walker arrived in plenty of time to collect a pair of hits in his Milwaukee debut, helping the Brewers to a 7-4 victory over the Reds.

It is easier, in my opinion, to get thrown in the fire and see how it goes, Walker said. I was happy to not be out of the lineup for two straight days.

Domingo Santana hit a three-run homer for Milwaukee, and Ryan Braun had two hits and drove in a run. The Brewers took the last two games of the weekend series after dropping six in a row.

Walker came over in a trade with the New York Mets on Saturday. He started at third base in place of the banged-up Travis Shaw and went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

He played a position that he hasnt played a ton this year and made some very nice plays, Counsell said. He handled it very professionally like hes been over there. He had quality at-bats. It was a good spot today. We needed him with Travis being out.

Brewers starter Matt Garza (6-6) allowed four runs, three earned, and five hits in 5 innings. He struck out two and walked five.

Jeremy Jeffress got two outs, Jacob Barnes tossed two scoreless innings and All-Star Corey Knebel worked the ninth for his 22nd save. Jesse Winker singled with two out, but Joey Votto flied out to left to end the game.

The Brewers jumped on Sal Romano for three runs in the first inning. Jonathan Villar drew a leadoff walk and scored on Brauns double. Walker followed with a single to right field that Winker misplayed, allowing Braun to score.

Manny Pina made it 3-0 by dropping a ball just fair down the right-field line for a ground-rule double that scored Walker.

Adam Duvalls two-run homer got Cincinnati within one in the fourth, but Eric Sogard tripled and scored on Hernan Perezs squeeze bunt in the bottom half of the inning. Santana then provided the big blow in the fifth, driving a 1-0 fastball from Romano (2-5) over the wall in right-center for a 7-2 lead.

That three-run homer to Santana really cost us, Romano said. Ive just got to be able to get that guy out in that situation.

STREAK SNAPPED: Votto went 0-for-3, ending his career-best 17-game hitting streak. He did draw a pair of walks to extend his run of reaching base at least twice to 18 games, the longest streak since Barry Bonds reached multiple times in 20 consecutive games in 2004.

SPECIAL GUEST: Lucas Lindner, an Eden, Wis., resident who regained the use of his hands and arms following a severe spinal cord injury suffered in a car accident, threw out an honorary first pitch. Lindner received treatment in a clinical trial at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee to the injured area of his spinal cord following the May 2016 accident.

TRAINERS ROOM: Shaw was out of the lineup after fouling a pair of pitches off his right leg Saturday. With an off day Monday, Counsell expects Shaw to be able to play Tuesday against Pittsburgh. … LHP Brent Suter was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left rotator cuff strain. … RHP Chase Anderson (strained left oblique) allowed four runs over 4 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Colorado Springs. … C Stephen Vogt (left knee sprain) went 1-for-4 in his third rehab game with Class A Wisconsin … RHP Anthony Swarzak was unavailable Sunday due to a stiff neck.

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