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Archive for the ‘spasticity’ Category

Monday morning in the ballroom – Part 1

Posted by katewillette on April 14, 2008

You know, I think they should really figure out something else to call these rooms . . . I mean, when was the last time a ball was held in this room?  For one thing, it’s carpeted.  Okay, I’m back to work now.

Sue Maus is introducing Jennifer French of the Neurotechnology Network.  The focus of today will be how to stay healthy while the researchers finish off the cure, and how to use technologies that are available right now to maximize well-being.

Jennifer French of the Neurotech Network is going to run this show; she rides her chair up the ramp and then stands up behind a walker. That’s demo #1, because she’s using technology to get up, and part of the program is going to be her explanation of how that works.

The Neurotech Network is a nonprofit that focuses on education of and advocacy for access to neurotech devices and therapies.

“Neurotech”  is the application of medical electronics and engineering to restore or improve the function of the human nervous system . . our bodies already know how to use electrical signals . . . neurotech is NOT a cure, but it can provide ways to fight secondary conditions and stay healthier.

Not every injury is the same, and neither is every kind of neurotech.

There are 2 categories . . internal and external .  . internal is like pacemakers, external is completely outside the bod.

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Posted in Neuropathic Pain, Neurotechnology, spasticity | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Breakout 1: Wise Young

Posted by katewillette on April 13, 2008

Gahh, my laptop just had a meltdown, so I’ve been frantically trying to fix it and simultaneously take notes.

Wise has been doing the quick rundown about what an injury to the cord means, physiologically.  If I had to miss something, I guess this part would have been my first choice . . . it’s the standard information. He’s explaining how it is that things pass through damaged cords. . .  talking about reflexes . . . he says that Chris Reeve’s reflexes were so strong that if you gave him a hug, his spacticity would toss his 250# body right out of the chair.

He says that people should stop thinking about axons as if they were wires . . . they’re not.  They’re living body parts, like arms.  And when we talk about regenerating them, we’re talking about re-growing body parts.

It takes a long time to grow an axon–as long as a year for a quad to get an axon all the way down the cord.

Spasms are the result of messages from above that get mixed up trying to get through the dead part of the spine.  Neuropathic pain is the result of messages from below that get mixed up trying to get through the dead part.

Putting in stem cells and expecting people to walk is never going to work, because 3 things are necessary for regeneration.

The first one is to replace the damaged injury site with something that is hospitable to axonal growth, but not so hospitable that the axons enjoy the environment so much that they just stay there.  What we need is something just friendly enough to be a bridge.  Hello, nice to see you, move along.

The second one is to have something that is a sustained source of growth factors that will stimulate the system to grow and keep growing.

The third one is to find a way to deal with the things natural to the cord that inhibit growth–the blockers.

In order to get regeneration, we need all 3: a bridge, a source of growth factors, and blockers.

The process of figuring out how to make this work in humans is about combination therapies.

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Posted in Christopher Reeve, Combination therapies, Regeneration, spasticity, Wise Young | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »