YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsSpinal Cord Injuries

Spinal Cord Injuries

September 16, 1996
A Swiss neuroscientist working to find a cure for spinal-cord injuries was awarded Sunday with the first Christopher Reeve Research Medal, named after the actor who was paralyzed after a 1995 equestrian accident. The award, which includes a $50,000 prize donated by philanthropist Joan Irvine Smith, recognizes the spinal-cord injury research of Martin E. Schwab, 47, the director of the Brain Research Institute at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
November 25, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
It was "Friday Night Lights" in Corona, high school football center stage. The joy of anticipation bubbled over. Teenage players couldn't wait. Parents and friends were in the stands. The communities that embrace Corona Santiago High and Upland High were bundled up and full-throated. This was a quarterfinal game in the Southern Section Inland Division playoffs. Winning meant advancing to another game, more joyful anticipation, more pats on the back and maybe even longer looks from college scouts.
In the nine years since Marc Buoniconti sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game, his father, Nick, has dedicated much of his life to his son's rehabilitation. "I made a commitment to Marc when he got hurt," said Nick Buoniconti, a former All-Pro and Pro Bowl linebacker with the Boston Patriots and Miami Dolphins. "I said money would not stand in the way. "Now, every night, Marc dreams that he will walk again. And he will."
October 28, 2013 | By Amy Hubbard
The La Brea tar pits are marking 100 years of digging history out of the muck.  The aroma of the pits is notorious along Los Angeles' Miracle Mile, where they have been burbling since prehistoric times. It's an incredible site that has fascinated scientists for more than a century - the kind of place where construction of an underground parking garage means the discovery of a near-complete adult Columbian mammoth .  They call him Zed. PHOTOS: Beautiful, bizarre bugs Those who have visited or live near the pits know the place by its smell - which can approach a freshly tarred road on a hot summer day - and an ooze that has been known to invade the surrounding area.
Usually it is a car wreck. But there are also wounds from gunshots, plane crashes and falls from horses, bicycles and scaffolding. Everybody's story is a little different. Kristi Reid recalls nearly every detail of those first few hours, including the name of her emergency room nurse. Sam Barukh did not even know for a month that he was paralyzed. What they and others in recovery share in common is the lifelong effect of a spinal cord injury.
October 27, 1988
An $18-million, 120-bed center for the treatment of spinal cord injuries was dedicated Wednesday at the Long Beach Veterans Administration Medical Center. Honored at the ceremony was 89-year-old Dr. Ernest Bors, for whom the new center is named. Bors, who drew international attention after World War II for his treatment programs for paralyzed veterans, retired in 1970 as chief of the spinal cord injury service at the Long Beach VA hospital.
A new device that was surgically implanted into a spinal-cord-injury victim allows him to talk easier and breathe without a bulky ventilator. "It's wonderful. There's nothing like this in the world," said Tom Conlan, 36, who injured his spinal cord in a swimming accident in 1998 and is a quadriplegic. "When I was on the vent, I'd have to wait for it to give me a breath before I could talk. Now I don't."
April 16, 2005 | David Wharton, Times Staff Writer
Todd Hart never had any qualms about his son playing high school football. Not once did they talk about the possibility of a serious injury. "Never even came up," the San Juan Capistrano father said. Then he added: "I know that sounds strange." It sounds strange because, in 1982, Hart was playing defensive back for Long Beach State when a violent collision with two other players left him slumped face down on the field. He has been in a wheelchair ever since.
October 12, 2004 | Jeff Gottlieb, Times Staff Writer
When Orange County heiress and equestrian Joan Irvine Smith saw Christopher Reeve on TV in 1995, she was impressed not only by the actor but also by the fact that he didn't blame his horse for the injury that paralyzed him earlier that year. Smith wrote to Reeve, offering to donate $1 million to establish a spinal-cord research center at UC Irvine if he would donate his name. Not knowing Smith or UCI, Reeve did what celebrities do with so much of their mail: He threw it into his kook file.
When Michael Schneider became paralyzed after a car accident in 1987, his doctors told him he would never have children. The neurological damage to Schneider, a quadriplegic who uses a wheelchair, left him with poor muscle function, which impairs his ability to ejaculate. He is among the estimated 90% of the 150,000 spinal cord injured Americans incapable of conceiving.
October 24, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
Deep-brain stimulation, a technique used for more than a decade to manage the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, may help restore greater function and more natural movement to patients with spinal cord injuries that have left at least a few nerves intact, new research says. A study published this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine showed that in rats whose spinal cords were partially severed, the implantation of a pacemaker in the brain's mesencephalic locomotor region - a control center for the initiation of movement - restored the hind limbs' ability to run and support weight to near-normal levels.
May 8, 2013 | By Matt Wilhalme
Jack Jablonski was only a sophomore in high school when he was paralyzed by a check into the boards during a hockey game for Benilde-St. Margaret's in Minnesota in 2011. On Tuesday, he was drafted by the Chicago Steel in the United States Hockey League's Phase 2 draft. Jablonski's tragic injury -- high tetraplegia to the C4 vertebra -- and ensuing dedication to one day get back on the ice spurred support from all over the hockey community, including ex-Kings defenseman Davis  Drewiske, who brought the Stanley Cup to the Minneapolis teen's home last summer.
September 17, 2012 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday to bar protests near funerals, prevent future accounting scandals and provide some legal amnesty to people seeking medical help for drug overdoses. The measure protecting funerals says protesters on public property must be at least 300 feet from the burial site. Violators could be fined $1,000 or jailed for six months. The restrictions are a response to protests by the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, whose members have picketed military funerals to say the death of soldiers is punishment for the country's tolerance of homosexuality.
August 28, 2012
Who would be so cruel, so selfish, as to deny money for spinal cord injury research? Unless you wish further harm to people who are paralyzed or otherwise disabled by spinal injury, certainly you want Californians to open up their wallets to fund studies, right? Boiled down to its basics, that is the argument behind the well-meaning but misguided AB 1657, which would tack $1 onto moving traffic violation fines to fund spinal cord injury research. The asserted but questionable nexus between traffic tickets and medical research is that tickets are issued to drivers who violate the law, those violations usually constitute unsafe driving, unsafe driving causes car accidents, and car accidents are a leading cause of spinal cord injury.
March 15, 2012 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Paralyzed by a spinal cord injury in 1986, real estate developer Rogers Severson sought out a leading rehabilitation facility after doctors told the former college athlete he'd never walk again. Six months later, he walked out of Casa Colina Center for Rehabilitation in Pomona with the aid of a cane and the realization that he possessed what most patients there did not: excellent insurance and the personal means to pay for top-flight care. He vowed to help change that. Almost a year to the day after he was thrown from a mule, breaking two vertebrae, Severson stood before those gathered at a fundraising luncheon to benefit the charity he'd founded, the Spinal Cord Injury Special Fund.
September 17, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A preliminary study finds that scuba diving may help improve muscle movement, touch sensitivity and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in people with spinal cord injuries. The small pilot study, presented Saturday at the Paralyzed Veterans of America conference in Orlando, Fla., involved 10 wheelchair-dependent disabled veterans who had suffered spinal cord injuries an average 15 years earlier and who underwent scuba diving certification. Pre-dive tests checked the participants' muscle spasticity, motor control, sensitivity to light touch and pinpricks, plus depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
December 13, 2000 | From Associated Press
A state-funded research pact between Indiana's top two state universities has yielded its first fruit--a human clinical trial that will test a promising new therapy for spinal-cord injuries. Purdue University and Indiana University said the Food and Drug Administration has cleared them to test on humans an implantable device that harnesses electrical fields to stimulate nerve growth in damaged spinal cords.
January 6, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
The first implant to help restore bladder function to Americans with spinal cord injuries received Food and Drug Administration approval. A severe consequence of paralyzing spinal cord injuries is loss of bladder control. Patients become dependent on catheters or other hard-to-use equipment and may be prone to bladder accidents. They're also vulnerable to repeated urinary tract infections. NeuroControl Corp.'
May 20, 2011 | Thomas H. Maugh II
A 25-year-old Los Angeles man paralyzed from the waist down after being hit by a car in 2006 has regained the ability to stand, take steps on a treadmill and move his hips, knees, ankles and toes voluntarily as a result of an experimental treatment developed at UCLA and the University of Louisville. Rob Summers has also regained some bladder and sexual function after intensive rehabilitation and two years of electrical stimulation to his damaged spinal cord with a device normally used for pain relief, researchers reported Thursday.
May 4, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
On Wednesday morning the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine announced a $25-million award to support a spinal cord injury trial.  It is the first time that the $3-billion state stem cell funding agency has backed a human clinical trial.  As expected by observers, the award is a loan to Geron Corp., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based biopharmaceuticals firm that has been working on a treatment for spinal cord injuries that is derived from...
Los Angeles Times Articles