Friday, December 30, 2016

Update on Christmas Cards for Andrew

To those of you who sent Christmas cards to Andrew Little (see my post for Dec. 17): he received over 50,000 cards!  Thank you for making a positive difference in the life of this young boy and his family!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Merry Christmas - Looking Beyond 2016

2016 has brought many developments in SCI research.  This brief editorial describes one of the latest: a study in which paralyzed monkeys were able to walk again.  Some interfacing methods are more controversial and invasive than others.  But it is true - recovery doesn't have to be in the realm of science fiction.

As to science fiction, exoskeletons and bionic frames have long been a part of imaginary worlds.  They don't have to stay there, either.  Hyundai made headlines this week for exoskeleton designs.  In 2015, Honda started selling smaller exoskeleton legs and assistive devices to rehabilitation centers and hospitals.  A later post will take a look at the Rewalk, Ekso, and similar designs.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas Cards for Andrew

Please make a young boy’s life brighter this Christmas!  A Dayton Daily News report indicates that eight-year-old Andrew, who suffers from a paralyzing condition and lives in a special care facility, loves to receive mail.  His grandmother has put out a call for Christmas cards.  Can you help?  
Mail a card to:
Andrew Little
4181 Weathered Oaks Lane
Hamilton, OH 45011

Friday, December 16, 2016

"Back" to the Basics

Walking backwards is actually a very healthy way to promote muscle in general.  I originally walked backwards with heavy bracing to begin taking steps again.  Because it involves different muscle groups, moving backwards was easier at first, and helped with beginning to go forward.  This video is a return to that idea - but no braces except for ankle supports!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

VR and the Mind's "I"

This latest research on virtual reality in therapy is good news for the prospects of movement-based VR rehabilitation.  It should also be a reminder that no simple narrative defines a spinal cord injury.  The brain can be retrained.  What about rebuilding neural pathway remnants or building new paths altogether?  
Neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, senior researcher, also led the project that organized the World Cup’s 2014 kick-off - by a paraplegic in an exoskeleton.  Read more about that here: Kicking Off the World Cup 
More articles for the curious: