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Articles Posted in Spinal Cord Injuries

Hialeah spinal cord injury patients, as well as spinal cord injury patients across the country, will be interested in a new scientific breakthrough that suggests an MS drug may offer new hope for injury treatment. Scientists from the University of Tokyo and the Jichi Medical University School of Medicine have found that a drug used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) could also help spinal cord injury patients. The drug, Gilenya or FTY720, was found to be effective in mice. When mice with spinal cord injuries were given the drug immediately after injury, FTY720 was found to help the mice recover motor function.

According to research, the drug, manufactured by Novartis, works by reducing inflammation. According to scientists, when inflammation occurs after a spinal cord injury, it can worsen the effects of a spinal cord injury. By reducing inflammation, researchers hypothesized, FTY720 can help mice regain motor control. FTY720 was also found to help regenerate damaged tissue in the mice, according to the study’s authors. The study’s authors find that FTY720 shows promise, but years of testing may still be in the future, as scientists will need to test the drug on larger animals before determining whether human trials are feasible.

Some scientists have also expressed skepticism at the study’s findings. Some researchers, for example, point out that many spinal cord injury interventions may work in mice but may not work in larger animals or humans. According to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, in human cases it is rarely possible to administer a treatment immediately after a spinal cord injury. For example, after a Hialeah truck accident causing a spinal cord injury, it may take some time for emergency crews to arrive at the scene and even more time will typically elapse before a patient can be transferred to hospital to begin treatment. W. Dalton Dietrich of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis therefore has wondered whether FTY720 would still be as effective if the drug were not administered at once after the injury.

Currently, the focus with spinal cord injury patients is rehabilitation. Spinal cord injury patients who have sustained their injury through a Hialeah car accident or other type of accident usually have their spinal cords stabilized and then undergo extensive rehabilitation. However, some studies have suggested that immediate treatment can actually help prevent further spinal cord damage and can help patients recover faster. For example, the drug methylprednisolone has found helpful in helping spinal cord patients recover some motor function. That drug must be administered within eight hours of injury for patients to reap the benefit. As well, another recent study has found that patients who get spinal decompression surgery within 24 hours of their injury have a better chance of fuller recovery than patients who wait longer to get treatment. Mild cooling shortly after surgery has also been found to be somewhat effective in improving function. Early research has also been done on stem cell use to rebuild spinal cord nerve pathways, but this research is still experimental.

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According to new research led by Toronto neurosurgeon Michael Fehlings, the timing of surgery after a spinal cord injury may be more crucial than has been thought. The research found that victims with upper spinal cord injuries who got decompression surgery within 24 hours of the injury had twice the rate of better neurological recovery than patients who waited longer for the surgery.

Researchers in the study focused on injuries to the cervical spine. Injuries to these areas account for about 30% of all spinal cord injuries, according to researchers, and injury to this area of the spine can result in a victim becoming a quadriplegic. Being able to reduce the devastating effect of these injuries – especially with something as simple as prompt surgery – can be a real boon for Hollywood spinal cord injury patients. Cervical spine injuries often occur as a result of Hollywood car accidents, falls, sports injuries, and other common accidents.

The study led by Michael Fehlings has been published in PLoS ONE, and shows that of 313 patients with cervical spinal cord trauma, 20 percent of those who had surgery for decompression within 24 hours of the injury showed much better recovery. Less than 9 percent of those who had surgery later showed the same level of improved function. According to Dr. Fehlings, prompt decompression surgery is important because it removes some of the pressure on the spinal cord and then stabilizes the spinal cord. Dr. Fehlings says that the research suggests that spinal cord injuries may be more similar to strokes and heart attacks, which are medical emergencies where patients’ lives can be saved with prompt medical attention.

Another research project to study the effects of exercise is underway in Canada, funded by a $1.9 million research grant. That study will examine what can be done to reduce the number of cardiac deaths among spinal cord injury patients. Current research suggests that heart disease is the leading killer for people living with spinal cord injuries. In fact, researchers have found that for people with spinal cord injuries, heart disease occurs earlier and more frequently than it does in the general population.

The studies suggest that much can be done to help Hollywood spinal cord injury patients, including those patients who have just sustained an injury and those who are living with a long-term injury. Of course, the research also shows how important financing is for spinal cord injury patients. In order to ensure prompt medical attention, spinal cord injury patients need to have the financial resources to pay for quality medical care. Hollywood spinal cord injury patients who are at higher risk of heart disease due to their injury need to have resources to prevent heart disease and treat it if it does develop. For these reasons, it is important for spinal cord injury victims to consult with a qualified Hollywood personal injury attorney to ensure that their rights are protected and that they get the fairest compensation possible for their injuries.

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The Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Allied Health and Nursing is using iPads to treat disabled patients who suffer from spinal cord injuries and other serious injuries. With $13,000 in funding, provided by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, NSU has purchased 20 iPads to assist spinal cord injury patients.

Researchers at NSU believe that the iPad is easier to use than a laptop or other computers. Spinal cord injury patients, with limited mobility, can use the portable and lightweight iPads to access GPS, the Internet, and other applications. The touch screen, according to NSU, is also easier for spinal cord patients to manipulate. Many things that are impossible for spinal cord patients to do – such as read books – is possible with an iPad. The mobile devices can also be used in occupational therapy, according to NSU researchers. The iPads can also assist patients with cerebral palsy, brain injuries, and other injuries. Additional iPods will be distributed in Broward County, according to NSU researchers.

The research is of particular interest to Florida spinal cord injury patients as well. Every year, Florida car accidents, truck accidents, and other types of accidents cause serious spinal cord injuries to many Florida residents. In many cases, these residents can no longer take part in basic everyday activities, such as reading a newspaper. The new research from NSU does suggest that some mobile devices can help these spinal cord injury patients enjoy a more normal life. As mobile devices become more available and become more affordable, there is hope that these devices could help spinal cord injury patients in Florida and across the country live a more normal life. Generous grants from organizations such as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation could potentially help Florida spinal cord injury patients get access to mobile devices that help them recover and live a more normal life.

The research also highlights a common problem that many Florida spinal cord injury patients have. Many Florida spinal cord injury victims find that insurance carriers do not cover all the costs of treatment after a final cord injury. Spinal cord injuries are among the most expensive injuries after a car accident or truck accident. Many spinal cord injury patients require a lifetime of rehabilitation and suffer a lifetime of income loss. Despite this, insurance carriers are often unwilling to pay for devices and treatments which could potentially help spinal cord injury victims lead a normal life. It is unlikely that the NSU research, for example, will convince insurance carriers to pay for the costs of iPads for spinal cord injury patients.

In addition to generous donations from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Florida law also protects spinal cord injury patients in cases such as these. If you have been in an accident and have sustained a serious spinal cord injury or another serious injury, contact a qualified Florida personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you negotiate with your insurance company, so that you can heal and recover more fully. A good attorney can also help determine the liable parties in your accident and can help pursue your case so that you get a fair settlement, which allows you to pay for medical care and rehabilitation expenses.

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About 250,000 individuals across the US suffer from severe spinal cord injuries. In Florida, car accidents, violence, and falls are the leading causes of such injuries. Many Florida residents do not realize the high costs of spinal cord injuries until they are faced with the high medical costs after an accident. According to research done by The University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the costs for an initial hospitalization after a spinal cord injury can be $140,000. For a High Tetraplegia (C1-C4) injury, the costs for the first year alone can be $626,588 Thereafter, the first year of recovery costs an average of $198,000, although it can be much higher, depending on the type of injury sustained. The average lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury for paraplegics who are injured at the age of 25 is $428,000. For quadriplegics patients injured at the same age, the total is $1.35 million. According to The University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, 47% of spinal cord injury patients are quadriplegic.

These costs do not even take into consideration the incidental, non-medical costs to spinal cord injury patients. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, 87.9% of spinal cord injury patients are released back home after initial hospitalization and 5.6% are released into nursing homes. This can create a host of additional costs.

For example, Florida spinal cord injury patients released back home will generally need to pay for transportation to and from the hospital for treatment and may need home renovations to make their homes accessible. If the injury was sustained in a car accident, they may need to replace their car with a more accessible car and potentially pay for nursing care as well. The costs of a Florida spinal cord injury patient in a nursing home can also be very high, since these patients typically require around-the-clock care and assistance.

The financial news for spinal cord injury patients is even worse. According to The University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, only 52% of spinal cord injury patients have private health insurance when they are injured and a full 63% of such patients still are unemployed eight years after their injury. High medical costs, combined with limited access to insurance and employment can create financial devastation for a lifetime.

Florida and the US also suffer financially due to spinal cord injuries. According to Proneuron Biotechnologies, spinal cord injuries cost America $14.5 billion each year in disability assistance and medical costs. These injuries also cost an additional $5.5 billion a year to the US in lost productivity.

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Florida spinal cord injury patients often receive their injuries from Florida car accidents, swimming pool accidents, and other accidents. In some cases, the victims of such accidents are children and minors. According to University of Florida researchers, however, some children may be overlooked for a Florida spinal cord injury treatments which could help them.

At a Society for Neuroscience meeting, University of Florida researchers presented details of a Florida spinal cord injury case in which a child with incomplete spinal cord injury was diagnosed as unlikely to walk again. However, after taking part in a locomotor training program at the University of Florida, the child was able to regain walking ability within four years. The University of Florida researchers further presented three other case studies in which children with incomplete spinal cord injuries saw improvement with locomotor training, some regaining the ability to take steps.

The University of Florida researchers were taking part in the Kids Step Study, conducted by Brooks Rehabilitation and the University of Florida. The study, led by professors Andrea Behrman and Dena Howland, suggests that many children who sustain Florida spinal cord injuries are overlooked for these promising programs of treatment due to the way that spinal cord injuries are diagnosed.

Currently, many physicians diagnose injury and the possibility of recovery by determining whether a patient displays early leg movement. Patients who do not show early leg movement are considered unlikely to walk again. However, the University of Florida researchers found that even children who showed little or no leg movement were still able to make improvement with locomotor training.

The locomotor training program run by Behrman and Howland involves repetitive and intense practice of task-specific exercises. The aim of the exercise is to prompt the neuromuscular system into walking and muscle control. Even some patients who did not recover the ability to walk with the program, according to Behrman and Howland, increased trunk mobility and control. Currently, no other program exists to help patients with severe Florida spinal cord injuries activate the neuromuscular system to prompt recovery.

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Spinal cord injuries, whether caused by car accidents, diving accidents, sporting injuries, boating accidents, falls or other accidents, can profoundly affect mobility and daily life. Florida residents who have spinal cord injuries often find that traveling, for example, becomes much more difficult after their accident. Negotiating airlines, airports, hotels and tourist attractions with a spinal cord injury is possible, but it also requires more work.

If you have a spinal cord injury and need to fly, make airline reservations in advance and inform the airline when you are booking your flight that you have a disability and will be using a wheelchair. If you have a powered wheelchair, you may need to tell the airline what sort of batteries the chair runs on. If you have a service dog or need help getting on or off the plane, you need to tell your airline this information in advance. Try to book your seat in advance so that you can select a seat that will be most convenient. A few weeks and a few days before your flight call the airline and make sure that your spherical requests have been correctly noted and the airline can accommodate you.

When arriving at an airport, give yourself plenty of time. Consider looking at the airport website before you arrive to note appropriate parking spots, elevators, ramps, and other amenities you may need. Where possible, consider having a friend drop you off at the airport. A friend can not only help you in the rush of an airport but can also help you with your luggage.

When making hotel reservations, tell the reservation agent that you have a disability and ask what rooms and amenities are available for someone with your needs. If you need to have special bathroom features, such as a shower chair, be sure to note this information to the agent. A reservation agent can also be helpful in finding accessible transportation to and from the hotel, if you need it. As with your airline ticket, call ahead to ensure that your room has been correctly booked and you will have the amenities you need.

When making train reservations, tell the reservation agent whether you are taking your wheelchair and whether you have a service dog. The agent may need some details about your chair in order to determine what accommodations the train can make for you. If you have seating preference, be sure to mention it when you are booking your trip.

In general, when traveling you will need to ask specific questions. Many tourist destinations and transportation companies claim to be “accessible” in a general way but are not very accessible at all. When speaking with an agent, ask specific questions – “Are there elevators? Ramps? Stairs? Curbs?.” Double-check the information you are given. Take out travel insurance so that if a destination is not as accessible as they claim to be you will be able to get your money back.

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Spinal cord injuries are quite common and can be caused by car accidents, diving into shallow water, slip and fall accidents, and other incidents. Many health professionals consider spinal cord injuries to be among the most traumatic injuries possible, because such injuries permanently affect a person’s mobility, relationships, work situation, and emotions. About 10 000- 20 000 Americans sustain spinal cord injuries each year, and in many cases these injuries can be preventable.

According to the Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin Spinal Cord Injury Center, there are many ways to prevent spinal cord injuries:

1) Practice good water safety. Test water levels before diving into a body of water. Water should be between nine and twelve feet deep to be considered safe. Proper diving form means arms in front. Avoid swimming alone or while intoxicated.

Among the elderly, bone fractures and even some spinal cord injuries are often the result of slip and fall accidents. In many cases, these accidents so easily cause injury because the victim’s bones are not in excellent shape. Healthy bones among the elderly do not prevent slip and fall accidents, but healthy bones can prevent serious personal injury in the event of a slip and fall accident.

Osteoporosis is a common condition that contributes to serious injury among the elderly. The disease makes bones thin and therefore more likely to break. For men and women with this condition, even a minor fall can lead to serious fractures. Luckily, there are many things that you can do to help prevent the disease and to strengthen your bones:

1) Eat enough calcium. If you are over age 50, you need 1,200 mg of calcium daily. Dairy products, orange juice, fortified cereals, dark green vegetables, sardines, salmon, soybeans, tofu, and almonds are all very good sources of calcium. If your diet does not include enough calcium, you may also want to speak to your doctor about a calcium supplement.

Any of the more than a quarter million patients in the US with spinal cord injuries have a difficult time adjusting to their injury. Arguably, though, Florida patients may suffer from being in a naturally pleasant environment that they no longer experience the same way. Before a spinal cord injury, Florida residents can enjoy staying active in the mild climate of Florida. After such an injury, however, sports and many other activities become challenging or not possible.

For many people, no matter where they live, a spinal cord injury (SCI) is simply traumatic. Often caused by a car accident, violence, or some other injury that is traumatic of its self, a SCI can hamper a person’s movement and sensation. Plus, many SCI patients also develop complications and other health problems as a result of their injury. Most patients also need to develop a great deal of strength just to perform daily activities after a SCI.

As a result of the trauma that most patients face, most victims of a SCI experience a great deal of emotional upheaval and stress. Many grieve for their lost mobility and movement. Many also react with denial and extreme sadness. A number of patients fall into a deep depression and require therapy or counselling in order to deal with their grief. Others react with anger, especially in cases where someone’s negligence or recklessness caused the injury. These emotional upheavals can contribute to high blood pressure – already a concern for SCI patients — and stress. The emotions that patients experience can also place a strain on the relationships that patients need for support after their injury.

If you have been in a car accident or have witnessed a slip and fall accident or other accident in which someone may have sustained a back injury, spinal cord injury, or neck injury, it is important that you avoid moving the patient. Serious complications can occur if you try to move someone with a spinal cord injury. In fact, permanent paralysis could occur. Instead, you should:

1) Evaluate the situation. The victim may have a spinal cord injury if he or she exhibits the following symptoms:

*Severe pain in the back or neck area.

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