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Dual Tibial Fractures Linked to Powered Exoskeleton in Complete Spinal Cord Injury

In a recent incident at an undisclosed location, a 54-year-old man sustained bilateral tibial fractures during a physiotherapy session utilizing a powered robotic exoskeleton (PRE). The patient, who has a background of T10 AIS A spinal cord injury (SCI), experienced acute severe bilateral knee swelling after roughly 15 minutes of using the PRE. Following the injury, the man sought treatment at a local hospital the next day, where X-rays confirmed the fractures. Medical intervention for the fractures involved manipulation under anesthesia and the application of long-leg casts for a period of five weeks. After the initial treatment phase, the patient was provided with hinged knee braces and instructed to remain non-weight bearing for a total of 12 weeks. During investigation of his condition, the patient was diagnosed with osteoporosis via a DEXA scan and subsequently commenced on bone protection with rheumatology services. Although the fractures healed and the patient had his weight-bearing precautions lifted, the long period of immobilization resulted in significant spasticity. The patient was eventually discharged from orthopedic services and continued his recovery with ongoing rehabilitation and physiotherapy. While PRE-assisted physiotherapy programs show promise for rehabilitation and fostering independence in patients with reduced mobility, this case illustrates the potential risks involved. Source: Nature.com

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Eamonn Holmes Opens Up About His Struggle With Persistent Back Pain

In a regrettable incident in Surrey, South East England, well-known television presenter Eamonn Holmes sustained severe back injuries following a fall at his home about a year ago. The mishap took place during the recovery phase after the 63-year-old underwent spinal surgery to address chronic back pain, which commenced two years ago. The GB News breakfast show anchor’s injuries included a dislocated pelvis, three slipped discs, and a trapped sciatic nerve, which have significantly impacted his mobility and daily life. Despite his challenges, Holmes is determined to maintain an active lifestyle, pushing through pain-saturated days with the support of those around him. The severity of his condition has not only reduced his mobility but also introduced an overwhelming sense of frustration due to his limited capabilities. In an open-hearted discussion on the ‘Let’s Start Talking’ podcast, hosted by Coleen Nolan and sponsored by Co-op Funeralcare, Holmes expressed his discontent with his current physical state and the effort it takes to complete routine tasks. He shared his experiences and the ongoing battles with his condition, highlighting the invaluable assistance he receives from his family and close ones, particularly his wife, Ruth Langsford. Langsford, a television personality on ‘Loose Women,’ has been monumental in providing him with affection and unwavering support throughout his ordeal. Source: Yahoo News UK

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Dublin Community Rallies to Raise over €100,000 for Spinal Injury Support

Over 400 individuals assembled at the Intercontinental Hotel for the 15th annual Spring Lunch organized by Spinal Injuries Ireland, a much-anticipated event in the spring social landscape. The lunch was part of a fundraising initiative to help support the organization’s mission of providing essential services to their 2400 service users, necessitating almost €1million in annual funds. Philip Quinlan, Event Manager for Spinal Injuries Ireland, was instrumental in organizing the successful event which featured an impassioned address from Ciaran Pollard, an inspirational speaker who received a standing ovation. Quinlan encouraged attendees to contribute generously to support the cause. The fundraising auction, conducted by Robert Hoban, saw competitive bidding with high-value items up for grabs, including Taylor Swift Tickets and a coveted cask of Powerscourt Whiskey, which fetched an astonishing €16,500. The CEO of Spinal Injuries Ireland expressed profound gratitude to all attendees, donors, and supporters for their contributions, which have been pivotal in the organization’s sustainability over the past three decades. Acknowledgment was also given to the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) for their ongoing partnership and support. The charity event, fueled by the compassion and generosity of its participants, managed to raise approximately €100,000 to aid Spinal Injuries Ireland in its mission to support individuals with spinal injuries. Source: Dublin Gazette

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Young Nigerian Bodybuilder Succumbs to Spinal Injuries Following Shooting Incident

26-year-old Nigerian bodybuilder, Michael Chidozie, tragically passed away after suffering from gunshot wounds inflicted by his wife, 28-year-old Keaiirra Shavoiyae Chidozie, in a domestic dispute in Houston. The shooting occurred on March 21. Chidozie battled for his life on life support at Ben Taub Hospital but ultimately succumbed to a severe spinal injury 18 days after the incident. The altercation that led to the shooting unfolded in front of the couple’s two young children, aged three and two, and began in a different area of the house before moving into the bedroom. It was there Keaiirra retrieved a pistol and shot her husband multiple times: once in the arm, once in the chest, and twice in the torso, leaving him gravely wounded on the bedroom floor. In the aftermath, Keaiirra Chidozie was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Although her husband has since died, her charges have yet to be updated. Following the shooting, she was allegedly in possession of their children when police located her in a nearby parking lot after witnesses reported her frantic behavior and calls for assistance. Keaiirra has claimed she shot her husband in self-defense, fearing for her own life during the intense confrontation. Source: Nigerian Sketch

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Prominent Wrestling Star’s Career in Jeopardy Following Severe Injury

Former WWE World Champion Big E may have reached the end of his wrestling career following a severe in-ring injury that resulted in a broken neck. The 38-year-old athlete suffered the traumatic injury during a SmackDown event in March 2022, leading to speculation about his future in the sport. Recent medical evaluations have shed light on Big E’s condition, revealing that despite healing, his C1 vertebra has not regenerated new bone. This development has left him without medical clearance for wrestling, and he acknowledges the possibility that he may never receive it. In spite of the grim outlook for his wrestling career, Big E has shared some positive updates. He expressed gratitude for living pain-free and enjoying a full and happy life beyond the wrestling ring. While his in-ring performances may be on pause, Big E’s life outside of the sport appears to be thriving. Last year, after undergoing a 12-month medical review, Big E was candid about his discussions with spine specialists. Despite positive aspects of his recovery, he was cautioned against returning to wrestling, advice coming from medical professionals experienced in treating similar injuries within the wrestling industry. However, Big E continues to be a part of the wrestling community, having made appearances at significant events such as WrestleMania 40 and co-hosting the Slammy Awards. Big E’s injury occurred during a match with Ridge Holland, a Yorkshire-born wrestler. Source: Metro.co.uk

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Nurse Provides Injury Updates for Embiid and Sixers Ahead of Heat Matchup

In a recent press update in Philadelphia, Sixers head coach Nick Nurse provided status information on key players ahead of their upcoming playoff battle against the Miami Heat. After an impressive eight-game winning streak, the Sixers are entering the play-in tournament, hoping to secure their place in the playoffs. Star player Joel Embiid, who has been sidetracked by a meniscus injury, missed the last game against the Nets but showed positive signs in practice. Embiid’s health is pivotal for the Sixers’ playoff push, as evidenced by their success in games where he has played this season. However, concerns continue to linger for De’Anthony Melton, who is dealing with a lumbar spine injury that has affected his availability. The pattern of absences following his attempts to play raises questions about his participation in the near future, according to Nurse. In addition to Melton, KJ Martin and Robert Covington were not present for the game against the Nets. Covington’s situation seems more definite, with Nurse indicating no expectation for his playoff return due to a persistent knee issue. As for the team’s readiness, the Sixers are confident in their momentum and team spirit. They are keen to extend their winning run to nine games, aiming to face off against the second-seeded Knicks in the upcoming playoffs. Source: EMEA Tribune, Breaking News, World News, Latest News, Top Headlines

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Revolutionary Stem Cell Treatment Helps Paralyzed Patient Walk Again

In an unprecedented medical achievement, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the United States have demonstrated that stem cell therapy has enabled a once fully paralyzed patient to regain the ability to walk. The details of this breakthrough were highlighted in a study, emphasizing the role of stem cells derived from body fat in potentially restoring motor functions and sensitivity in paralysis cases. The innovative phase 1 clinical trial focused on a group of 10 participants who suffered from spinal cord injuries. These patients underwent a procedure to harvest stem cells from either the abdominal or thigh area, which were then meticulously cultivated in a laboratory setting over the course of several weeks to generate millions of new mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These MSCs were subsequently administered via injections into the lumbar region of the patient’s spine. Notably, the infused stem cells were observed to navigate towards the damaged segments of the spinal cord, significantly contributing to the rehabilitation process. Over a follow-up period ranging from two to three years, patients continued to be evaluated to gauge the effectiveness of the stem cell treatment. The findings of the study, now published in the reputable scientific journal Nature Communications, indicated a positive trend with seven out of the ten patients experiencing notable enhancements in their abilities to sense and move. These improvements included increased muscle strength and heightened sensitivity to tactile stimuli. Source: WION

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Understanding the Impact of Clinical and Demographic Factors on Cognitive Impairment in Spinal Cord Injury

A severe traffic incident occurred at the Lucy Montoro Rehabilitation Institute (LMRI) in São Paulo, Brazil, leaving patients with spinal cord injuries (SCI) grappling with cognitive impairments. A rigorous study initiated to evaluate cognitive dysfunction in SCI individuals revealed that approximately 80% of participants displayed signs of significant cognitive deficits. The research enlisted 488 SCI patients undergoing initial assessments preceding intensive rehabilitation. It aimed to determine the prevalence of cognitive impairment among this group and identify the main predictors affecting cognitive functions. Assessment tools used in the study included the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) scale, strategically adapted for patients with visual impairments, and a focus on execution tasks to evaluate visuospatial and executive capabilities. Investigators succeeded in isolating a number of factors that appeared to influence cognitive scores profoundly. These included patient age, their level of education, the existence of depression, and the consumption of analgesics or opioids. Notably, these elements influenced cognitive capabilities independently of SCI-related clinical characteristics such as injury duration, gender, or educational background. The prevalent cognitive impairments identified in the sample size are concerning and postulate the necessity for a comprehensive approach to management throughout hospitalization and rehabilitative processes. Such an approach could ameliorate the cognitive impact on SCI patients and aid in their recovery journey. Source: Nature.com

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Understanding How the Spine Can Learn Independently of the Brain

At the RIKEN Center for Brain Science in Japan, scientists have unveiled a revolutionary understanding of the neurocircuitry within the spinal cord, illuminating its capability for brain-independent motor learning. Their research, as documented in the prestigious journal Science, highlights two distinct neuron groups with pivotal roles—one facilitating new adaptive learning and the other integral to memory recall of these adaptations. Exploring the Spinal Cord’s Autonomous Learning Potential In an innovative experimental setup, the Japanese researchers successfully isolated and examined the adaptive learning and memory recall capabilities of mouse spinal cords independent of brain activity. These advancements demonstrate that the spinal cord alone can modify its motor responses based on associative learning between leg positioning and discomfort. Elucidating Pivotal Neural Structures Through utilizing different genetically modified mice, the team zeroed in on the exact neural structures paramount for independent motor learning and memory within the spinal cord. They pinpointed that the neurons expressing the Ptf1a gene were indispensable during the initial learning phase, whereas those expressing the En1 gene proved vital for the retention and recall of these motor adaptations. “This research not only refutes the traditionally held view that motor learning and memory are confined to cerebral circuits,” asserts lead study author Aya Takeoka, “but additionally it unlocks the potential to actively influence motor memory recall, holding significant promise for the development of treatments aiding recovery from spinal cord injuries.” Source: ScienceBlog.com

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“Advances in Spinal Cord Injury Rehab Technology Move Closer to Market Release”

In a groundbreaking advancement within the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct, Griffith University’s BioSpine team has earned a prestigious position in the LuminaX health tech accelerator program. Led by Dr. Claudio Pizzolato and coordinated by Kyle Mulholland, the team, which includes co-investigator Dr. Dinesh Palipana OAM and a 30-member multidisciplinary research team from GCORE, is set to participate in a 14-week intensive program designed to fast-track commercialization in the health tech sector. LuminaX, now in its fourth year, is a competitive, application-based accelerator that sources high-potential start-ups from across Australia. It specializes in nurturing early-stage entrepreneurial ventures that leverage AI and technology in healthcare, medtech, and wellness industries. The novel BioSpine system is a state-of-the-art digitally-enabled rehabilitation framework aimed at transforming the treatment of spinal cord injuries (SCI). This innovative system integrates non-invasive technologies, including assistive exercise devices, electrical stimulation, a brain-computer interface powered by artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, to produce an immersive rehabilitation experience controlled through a cutting-edge digital twin. This powerful confluence of technologies is orchestrated to exploit neuroplasticity, with the ultimate goal of stimulating the remaining active neurons in paralyzed individuals to restore sensory and motor functions. Source: The National Tribune

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