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Spinal Cord Injury

April 8, 2014 | Melissa Healy
With the help of electrodes placed near the spine, patients who had been paralyzed for more than two years were able to regain some voluntary control over their legs, according to a study released Tuesday. The electrodes stimulated the spinal cords of the patients while they engaged in specific motor tasks involving their paralyzed limbs. Before the patients were injured and their spinal cords were damaged, their brains would have sent those key electrical signals to their legs. The new study upends the assumption that two years post-accident is a point of no return for people paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury.
October 16, 2010
Over the summer, Kristina Ripatti-Pearce completed Race Across America, a bicycle relay from Oceanside, Calif., to Annapolis, Md. It's considered one of the most difficult races in the world. But unlike her team members, Ripatti-Pearce faced an added challenge -- the young mother of two is paralyzed from the chest down. A former officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, Ripatti-Pearce was on a routine patrol in 2006 when she noticed a suspicious-looking man walking the streets in South L.A. After chasing him for blocks and then jumping on his back, the suspect turned and shot Ripatti-Pearce at point-blank range.
As usual this summer, long days and warm weather ideal for recreational pursuits will usher in dozens of serious accidents that result in paralysis. But the fate of individuals who suffer spinal cord injuries this summer (and throughout the decade) could differ slightly from people paralyzed in the past.
December 6, 1994 | From Associated Press
Rats with spine injuries were able to stand and walk after treatment with a combination of drugs, researchers report. Eugene Roberts of the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope in Duarte, Calif., said Monday the research shows it may be possible to prevent the permanent damage that often occurs in spinal injuries by quickly treating patients with drugs that halt damaging inflammation and promote healing.
Bill Shoemaker faces the prospect of permanent paralysis from the chest down as well as complications with his breathing, according to a medical statement released Wednesday by Dr. Robert G. Watkins of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Shoemaker, horse racing's all-time winningest jockey who retired last year, suffered a severe fracture dislocation of the cervical spine and a spinal cord injury after a single-car crash April 8 in San Dimas. He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.
As actor Christopher Reeve remained paralyzed and unable to breathe on his own five days after breaking his neck in an equestrian accident, experts in spinal cord injuries said Thursday that the circumstances--breaks high in the spinal column--indicate a potentially devastating injury, among the worst imaginable. "A spinal cord injury is always serious and the higher it is the more serious it is--and this is the highest injury you can have," said Dr.
December 19, 1985 | DAVID ZINMAN, Newsday
Major discoveries in medical science are the most elusive of events. Magical advances like penicillin and the Salk polio vaccine do appear. But, in fact, the so-called breakthrough is rare. No subject is a better example of the deliberate pace of medical research than spinal-cord injury, once considered a dead end for researchers. For years, doctors believed that damaged nerves in the spinal cord never grew back.
August 24, 2007 | Peter Y. Hong, Times Staff Writer
A final forensic expert testified for the defense at the Phil Spector murder trial Thursday, completing what lawyers have called the heart of the famous music producer's fight to clear his name. Testimony is expected to finish Monday, followed by a discussion of legal instructions the judge will give to the jury before it begins deliberations. Closing arguments by attorneys are expected to occur just after Labor Day.
June 29, 1989 | BILL BILLITER, Times Staff Writer
For 25-year-old Danny Shaw, life was as warm and mellow as the Southern California sun. He had an auto mechanic's job he loved, in the city he loved, San Clemente. "It was all there for me: swimming, surfing, trips to Mexico. It was great," he recalled. Then, on April 9, that dream life turned into a nightmare. While cooling off in the ocean near Doheny Beach during that month's 100-plus-degree heat wave, something happened. "It was a freak accident," Shaw said. "I still don't know what happened, but all of a sudden I was floating on my back."
December 9, 2013 | By Matthew Reeve
My father, actor Christopher Reeve, loved to travel, even after he was paralyzed from a severe spinal cord injury. During trips to places in the United States and abroad, he spoke with many people who, like him, had to find ways to navigate daily life while living with paralysis. These conversations only furthered his resolve that all people with disabilities should be able to lead healthy and productive lives, no matter where they live. Unlike many living with disabilities, however, my father was fortunate to have had the resources to be able to travel, and he always had access to the highest standard of care.
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