Friday, December 21, 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
Bottom line: Do NOT trust every nursing home to have the best interest of your loved one at heart. If you see bruises or scratches or notice things missing from their room, be suspicious.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
We began to wonder if we did something that caused his stuttering. We questioned everything, from family related stress to traveling to a fever he recently had. Of course we searched online about toddlers who stammer and everything we read reassures us that stuttering in toddlers, particularly boys, is quite frequent and often goes away after a few months. Apparently stuttering in childhood often happens because the babies' language abilities are developing faster than the language center of their brains can handle. On the otherhand, I know that stuttering is something that the medical world knows next to nothing about. What causes stuttering? What is the best approach to stuttering? Will my baby stop stuttering? No one can answer these questions yet. So for now we do not know if this is a temporary thing or the beginning of a long journey.
We have discussed with his pediatrician and soon we will visit a specialist. But I suspect the final answer will be to watch and wait.
Friday, November 23, 2012
What happened to the rats?
Ten rats were paralyzed at the beginning of the study. Their spinal cords were partially severed at two separate but neighboring sites.
What did the scientists use to get the rats to walk?
- Serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine were injected into the spinal cord.
- A set of electrodes supplied a continuous flow of electrical energy near the site of the break in the spinal cord to stimulate the regrowth of the neural cells. Another device supported the rats and taught the legs to move.
- A training course was used as therapy.
What was the result?
Amazingly after 10 weeks, all ten walked again!
Read more about this study, or read about exoskeletons for wheelchair users.
Friday, November 16, 2012
The head of Angel Faces, Lesia Cartelli, was burnt on 50% of her face and body from a gas explosion at the age of nine. Lesia organizes retreats for young girls who have also been burned. The purpose of these retreats is to help girls, aged 11-19 to become more self-confident and improve their self-image. You can read more about Angel Faces in this article in Washington Post or by watching an interview with Leisa:
Or by visiting the Angel Faces Website. You can also help Angel Faces achieve their goals without spending any money at all. Simply use Good Search and nominate Angel Faces as your beneficiary. For every Good Search you do, Angel Faces will receive 1 cent!
Friday, November 9, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
So, what is the solution for dog poop? Like the guy the in the video above, consider washable wheelchair gloves to keep your hands free from dog poop.
And think about getting a pair of wheelchair tire covers to prevent the dog poop on wheelchair tires from getting onto your clean floors and carpets.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Saturday, October 6, 2012
You can wipe your tires all you want, but you will probably never get it all. So, what is the solution to wet and dirty wheelchair tires:
Look into RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers, specially designed wheelchair tire covers that are made to keep your house clean.
Friday, September 28, 2012
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, three states (Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire) do not have a motorcycle helmet law at all and 28 states require helmets only for some motorcycle riders. Further 21 States have a helmet law for bicyclists below a certain age, generally about 16. An incredible 29 states have no bicycle helmet law at all.
What are your thoughts? Should helmets be required by law?
Friday, September 21, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
Read more about these wheelchair gloves for kids.
Monday, September 10, 2012
I am not able to find any US manufactured products which use Tuaminoheptane. I did find that an Italian company, named Zambon, manufacturers a drug called Rinofluimucin which contains Tuaminoheptane. According to Bascio's website:
I used a nasal spray while in Italy to treat the symptoms of a head cold from which I was suffering, and was unaware that the spray contained a stimulant on the WADA list of specified substances. As a result, I unintentionally committed an anti-doping rule violation.Hmmm....I would think that most athletes would know that many over the counter drugs contain stimulants and their use is banned, and that they would be EXTREMELY careful about what drugs they are taking. I had a look at the list of WADA banned substances and tuaminoheptane is specifically mentioned there on page 7 under "specified stimulants". Bascio is not the first athlete to be found guilty and punished for taking Tuaminoheptane. As an example, in 2008, a french rugby player Rabah Slimani, was found guilty of taking Tuaminoheptane for a cold. In Slimani's case it was given to him by a team physician and apparently had no label on it. If this is true, frankly, I have more sympathy for Slimani than Bascio
Bottom line, if you are an athlete, you MUST be aware of what you are taking. I hope that from now on Bascio and other Paralympians are keeping a copy of the WADA list of banned substances where ever they go. If your nose is plugged try rinsing it with salt water.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Exoskeleton technology leader, ARGO Medical Technologies, along with mobility solutions provider, Cyclone Technologies, announced today that Claire Lomas has become the first person to take home an exoskeleton system for personal use. The new technology, which is manufactured by Argo Medical Technologies and supplied exclusively in the UK by East Yorkshire-based mobility solutions provider, Cyclone Technologies, has seen Claire become the first person in the world to utilise exoskeleton technology at home, and in her everyday life.Claire is probably the first person from the UK to own an exoskeleton. But as reported in this blog on 2 May 2011, Rex Bionics sold its first exoskeleton to Dave MacCalman, a New Zealand Paralympian over one year earlier. In fact, according to this article
About 30 people worldwide already use the (Rex Exoskeleton)When contacted for comment, John Frijters from Argo, the company which manufactures ReWalk said, "Our intent was not to discredit the work of any other exoskeleton unit. We are excited to release this new device that users can take home and incorporate into their daily lives. The ReWalk technology is unique in its design and we are launching a new phase in the UK and Europe now that the new unit will be available for personal use." I agree which Mr Frijters that it is indeed an exciting milestone that exoskeletons are now more widely available for personal use. I am certain that what is most important to Claire Lomas is that she is now walking whenever she wants, and it is less important if she is the first or indeed only one of the first wheelchair users to do so.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
According to Brad Zdanivsky, a 36-year-old Canadian quadriplegic climber, as reported in this article in BBC:
Some people do that in sports by clipping off a catheter to let the bladder fill - that's the easiest and the most common - and you can quickly get rid of that pain stimulus by letting the urine drain out. I took it a notch further by using an electrical stimulus on my leg, my toe and even my testicles.
It is called "boosting" and it takes advantage of something called "autonomic dysreflexia" (AD) to increase blood pressure and performance. According to Wikipedia " AD occurs most often in spinal cord injury individuals with spinal lesions above the T6 spinal cord level; although, it has been known to occur in patients with a lesion as low as T10. But in addition to the increase in blood pressure which is the point of "boosting" AD is also associated with throbbing headaches, profuse sweating, nasal stuffiness, flushing of the skin above the level of the lesion, bradycardia, apprehension and anxiety, which is sometimes accompanied by cognitive impairment. Further Zdanivsky says "you are getting a blood pressure spike that could quite easily blow a vessel behind your eye or cause a stroke in your brain," and "It can actually stop your heart. It's very unpleasant, but the results are hard to deny."
Enjoy the Paralympics, they start TODAY!
Friday, August 24, 2012
With the support of MSA NJ, SDS/MSA Support, Inc. is hosting its annual conference in New Jersey on Saturday, September 8 2012 at the Newark Airport Hilton with a reception for attendees on Friday, Sept. 7. Also, on the eve of the conference, MSA NJ is hosting a fundraiser dinner-dance. We welcome patients and caregivers impacted by MSA to join us for the conference, and anyone who enjoys good food and music while helping a good cause to join us for the dinner-dance. Registration is required. Other opportunities to support this cause are available through sponsorships, ads, and donations.
All relevant information can be found at www.msanj.org.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Solution #1: Stick your dirty wheelchair into a wheelchair washer:
Solution #2: Put your dirty wheelchair wheels on rollers
Solution #3: Use an electric tooth brush to clean up your dirty wheelchair tires
Solution #4: Mount a gadget on your wheelchair which can clean the dirty tires automatically
Solution #5: Use "elbow grease" to clean those dirty wheelchair wheels
Solution #6: Use washable RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers to keep the dirty wheelchair tires from touching the floor.
Which do you prefer?
Read more about RehaDesign Wheelchair Tire Covers.
Friday, August 10, 2012
A German Textile Institute Is Looking For Wheelchair Athletes
Hohenstein Institute optimieren Sportkleidung für Rollstuhlsportler –
machen Sie mit!
Telefon: +49 7143 271-325
E-Mail: a.klepser "AT" hohenstein "DOT" de
Monday, August 6, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
What did I think? Well, this show is called Push GIRLS (note the caps) and, it really seemed a "chick flick" sort of thing. It was really focused on women's issues and, probably for that reason, it did not really click with me. But then again, most reality shows don't, particularly the girlie ones. Come to think of it, if I did not have a wife and a child, I probably would not watch TV at all. Mostly we watch E Channel (I always wonder when they will rename E Channel the Kardashian Channel? Do they show anything else?) and BabyTV. Sad to think that I know more about Kim Kardashian and Baby Chef than I do about many of my friends.
Anyway, I digressed. Even though I am not a fan of Push Girls, I can understand that it does resonate with many viewers. Read reviews written by women, such as this Push Girls Episode 6 Review,
I have discovered that most women really love Push Girls. Why not? Push girls focuses issues such as on dating, beauty, modeling, fashion and a boat load of other issues that women, more than most men, are interested in. So, I wonder, now that Push Girls seems to be successful, is there going to be a sequel called "Push Guys" or "Push Babies"? Better yet, if there was a "Push Kardashians", I would probably be watching it whether I want to or not.
Friday, July 20, 2012
* Gene: Can you please tell us a few words about functional electrical stimulation (FES), how it works and what the benefits are for wheelchair users, quads as well as paras? What is the benefit of having electrical stimulation in an exoskeleton?
* Michael: FES is a means of artificially eliciting muscle contraction, in our case from surface skin electrodes, and in our case, used in conjunction with and controlled by the exoskeleton. As a result, the user is moving under the combination of exoskeleton motor power, and his or her own muscle power. Supplementing the exoskeleton with FES provides a number of physiological benefits to the user, including improved circulation, decreased decubitus ulcers, improved cardiovascular and lymphatic health, increased bone density, and reduced muscle spasticity, to name a few. Our system need not be used with FES, but can be used with it for those users who want the associated physiological benefits.
* How easy is it to put on the Vanderbilt exoskeleton? How long does it take?
* Michael: We designed it to be snapped on in three pieces while seated (i.e., you need not transfer into it, although you can if that’s the preference). This works fairly well in the current version, but we are currently revising the quick-connect design to make it easier to snap together. As it currently is, it takes approximately three minutes to don, and about 30 seconds to doff.
* What are the biggest challenges that you face?
* Michael: I’m not sure how you intend this question, but I believe establishing a viable business model for our exoskeleton (and all other emerging ones) is amongst the biggest of challenges. We need to demonstrate a clear benefit/cost ratio, in particular, by demonstrating clear therapeutic benefit (that fact the user’s really like it is likely not sufficient for medical reimbursement), and we need to reduce the cost of these exos.
* Gene: For what type of user will the Vanderbilt Exoskeleton be appropriate?
* Michael: Any para with sufficient upper extremity coordination to balance with a stability aid. Possibly some quads with sufficient arm and grip strength to use a stability aid.
* Gene: What are your plans for marketing the Vanderbilt exoskeleton? When do you expect to be able to bring the exoskeleton to the market?
* Michael: We have licensed this technology to a commercial partner that intends to bring the technology to market. That commercial partner will submit to the FDA. The commercial partner plans to make the exoskeleton available for purchase next fall (2013).
* Gene: Do you expect to market the Vanderbilt as the other exoskeleton companies have done before you, that is first for institutional use? Or will the Vanderbilt exoskeleton be for personal use from the start?
* Michael: The exoskeleton was designed for personal use, but the commercial partner will undoubtedly start with institutional markets, then progress to personal (consumer) markets.
* Gene: Do you have an idea of the target price range of the Vanderbilt exoskeleton?
* Michael: This is to be determined by our commercial partner. My hope is that they will bring it to market at a much lower cost than the other systems you mentioned. Of all these systems, ours is the only one for which the development was funded by the US government (NIH), and our commercial partner need not recover these development costs, and therefore may be better positioned relative to the others to bring it to market at a lower cost.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
* Do you see that G+1 followed by "Recommend this on Google"? (To your left)
* Do you see that "I'm on G+ / Add to circles"? (To your right)
* Now look at the bottom of this post (and every post of this blog). Look directly above where it says "labels". Do you see all of those little icons? If you hover your mouse over them you will see "share to facebook", "share to twitter", "Recommend this on Google"
Adding those buttons could increase your traffic. Would you like to add those buttons to your Blogger blog easily and quickly? Even if you have no technical ability? Then check out this article about How To Add Google Plus To Blogger. Note that this only applies to Blogger Blogs, but probably something similar applies to Word Press Blogs as well.
Friday, July 6, 2012
Denison chose the Ekso over the ReWalk-I from Argo Medical of Israel. The Israeli device, which is in use at several U.S. rehab facilities, does offer capabilities the Ekso can't match: It can climb stairs and navigate inclines, and its steps are activated by the wearer's gestures rather than a therapist's button presses. But other therapists who had used the ReWalk told Denison that it took too long to get patients in and out of it.I found it interesting that a Rehab Center selected an exoskeleton for how easy it is to put on over superior performance and functionality. If anyone else has experience with the different exoskeletons or has read articles which compare the different exoskeletons, please contact me at RehaDesign (AT) Gmail (dot) com. Read more about exoskeletons for people with disabilities.
Friday, June 29, 2012
This is exciting news that exoskeletons can be used safely by wheelchair users, both young and old. Go Amar! Read more about exoskeletons for wheelchair users.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Gene: Jan, can you tell us a bit more about yourself? What level is your injury? What kind of hand function do you have?
Jan: My name is Jan, I´m 32 years old and I´m from Czech Republic. 16 years ago, i jumped into the water, level of my injury is C4-C5. Kind of hand function is only wrist flexion.
Gene: What features do you look for in Quad Gloves? What kind of Quad gloves have you used in the past?
Jan: I was looking for the gloves what go easy to put on, help me easily control my wheelchair, will protect my hands against abrasions and will look good. That is my first Quad gloves.
Gene: What is it that interested you in Strap N Roll Quad Gloves? Why did you buy them?
Jan: Strap n Roll gloves had everything what I wrote above.
Gene: What were your thoughts about Strap N Roll Quad Gloves after you tried them? What did you like about them? What didn't you like about them?
Jan: Gloves had everything what i expect. They go easy to put on, have very good protection of my hands and make easily drive the wheelchair. I like the material and look. I have found no negative yet.
Gene: Did you find the Quad Gloves easy to put on?
Jan: Yes, absolutely.
Gene: Tell us about the fit? Was it comfortable?
Jan: Yes, no problem.
Gene: What about the grip on the push rim? Can you tell us about that? Do they help you to push the wheelchair more easily?
Jan: I think the grip is very good. I have rubberized push rims and that make the grip better.
Gene: Does the leather seem like it is good quality?
Jan: Yes, quality of leather seems like good. I use the gloves one week only, will see in future.
Gene: Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Jan: Yes. Thank you for your job. You do it great!!!
Gene: Thank you so much for the feedback. We really appreciate it.
If you buy a pair of our wheelchair gloves and would agree to be interviewed and let people know what you think, please drop us a note at RehaDesign "AT" Gmail.com. Click to see Strap N Roll Quad Gloves.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Here is a video of Dr Contreras-Vidal and the thought controlled Rex Exoskeleton:
* What are the main challenges that you are facing?
There are several challenges in bringing this technology to the clinic and the home. They include demonstrating safety and efficacy in a controlled clinical trial with patient volunteers -a requirement to gain FDA approval. We expect the use of the exoskeleton technology to result in both brain and body adaptations resulting in an overall improvement in health/well being, e.g., bladder function, bone density/strength, cardiovascular health, etc. We also need to improve the form-factor and usability so that patients can 'put on' the device easily and rapidly. Moreover, it is likely that several device models will be optimized to specific clinical populations, including pediatric. In summary, we are making the 'first steps' in this exciting and meaningful research.
* Do you believe that a thought controlled exoskeleton could achieve a physiological movement in the near future? For example, can it stand up, sit down, climb stairs, step sideways, etc? Or is something like that years off?
Our exoskeleton system is already functional in that it can sit, stand-up, turn left or right, climb stairs up/down all while self-balancing.
* How soon could it be before a thought controlled exoskeleton could reach the market?
Hard to predict given the challenges; however, given the non-invasive nature of the approach, which reduces greatly the risk to the user, we hope to be able to fast-track the system through the FDA approval process within a few years. This includes making the system available in parts, for example, we think the exoskeleton alone can be brought to the clinic within a year, whereas it may take a bit longer to bring the system for use a home. The thought-controlled exoskeleton would take a bit longer given the added complexities and testing to be done.
* I have read that clinical trials of thought controlled exoskeletons will start in Summer? Do you have a date yet? Do you know when it will finish?
We are working on this and will be in touch. Our current target date is late Summer.
* How many subjects will you have?
We will aim for 15 users with various degrees of physical/gait impairment
* Are you looking for subjects? If so, how can volunteers be included?
Once we are ready to start the studies we will advertise for recruitment, most likely in our webpages (see below) and through the Texas Medical Center.
* Any chance of some videos of a thought controlled exoskeleton? I would love to see this in action.
I can make this available later this summer.
* How can we keep up to date of what is going on so I can write about it. How can we do that?
Follow me in the social media,
Here are our official websites:
Read more about exoskeletons for wheelchair users.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I had heard that Push Girls was in development but I did not realize it was already being broadcast. So, I looked on Youtube to see if I could find a few clips. This is what I found:
On Wednesday, June 13, 2012, NPR’s Talk of the Nation is doing a segment on women in wheelchairs at 3 p.m. (EST). We’ll be talking to Auti Angel and Mia Schaikewitz from the Sundance channel series, “Push Girls” and we’ll also be taking calls from listeners who want to weigh in.
Frankly, that clip of Push Girls seems too "inspirational" for my liking and if they continue in that direction, I doubt that this show will have much "staying power". Yes, the Push Girls are strong. Yes, the Push Girls have done remarkable things post-injury. I know Auti Angel and there is not a sweeter, more talented girl on 4 wheels. But for this reality show to last more than a few episodes, we will need much, much more than inspirational fluff.
Then I saw this:
Reverse cowgirl? What is THAT? So, of course I had to do a Google search and find out. Don't click this link if you blush easily, but if you are not shy here is a definition of Reverse Cowgirl.
So, I am hoping that the Push Girls break down some barriers and knock down some walls. Show us some hot girls on wheels. Make us blush. Make us laugh. Don't go for the easy emotions, rather tug at our heart strings. THEN this show could be around for a few seasons.
NPR let me know that the interview with Auti Angel and Mia Schaikewitz can be heard internationally within a few hours after its live broadcast in the United States at this link.
PS: If there is a "Push Girl" reading this who would like to be interviewed, contact me at RehaDesign "AT" gmail.com and I will set it up. Believe me, it will not be "inspirational fluff".
Friday, June 8, 2012
A great deal of work is being done in the area of brain controlled exoskeletons. At Brown University, a robotic hand is being controlled by the thoughts of a quadriplegic subject, named Cathy Hutchinson, who has been unable to use her hands for 15 years. Watch how Cathy is controlling the robotic hand only by her thoughts:
However, in order to control that exoskeleton, Cathy has had to have an electrode implanted in her brain. Having anything implanted in your brain is quite risky and far from ideal.
So, it is very exciting news that a mind controlled exoskeleton is being developed by other researchers which does NOT require anything to be implanted. Instead, electrodes in a skull cap worn on the head sense the desired movements as can be seen in this video:
Dr Contreras-Vidal of the University of Houston, in Texas is working together with the manufacturers of Rex Exoskeleton to develop an exoskeleton which will be controlled by thought. Why is this important? The current exoskeletons under development are controlled by "force and motion" sensors, a joy stick or sensors on the skin. None of these types of sensors are ideal and none will be able to offer physiological gait or natural movement. Imagine having to push a button in order to climb stairs, sit down or break into a run. Not only that, but a thought controlled exoskeleton will allow quads and others with little or no upper body control to be able to use exoskeletons. Soon, we will publish an exclusive interview with Dr. Contreras-Vidal about his thought controlled exoskeleton. In the mean time, read more about exoskeletons for wheelchair users.
Friday, June 1, 2012
First: Wheelchair users can select the type of closure that they prefer. Some wheelchair users prefer to close their gloves with a strap, because a strap makes it easier to close the wheelchair glove. Other wheelchair users prefer not to have a strap, because then the glove can open wider making it easier to insert the hand. This new wheelchair glove is the first offer both options.
Second: The wheelchair glove is completely open from the backside making allowing the hands more freedom to move.
Third: The grips on the palm of the hand are separated giving this wheelchair glove a hinge-like effect making this wheelchair glove more flexible than other wheelchair gloves.
Fourth: Unlike cheap leather wheelchair gloves which can turn the hand black due to color transfer, this wheelchair glove is lined with material so that the hand in never in contact with the leather. There is no need to wash this wheelchair glove before use and there is no risk that the hands of the wheelchair users can turn black.
Read more about these innovative wheelchair gloves for quads and other wheelchair users.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Now we can hope to see exoskeletons available in all countries of the world. Read more about exoskeleton suits for wheelchair users.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The sport, originally known as "murderball" because of its aggressive, full-contact nature, is played on an indoor court and involves teams of up 12, with four players per side on court at any one time.
Since making its Paralympic debut in Sydney in 2000 the game has gone from strength to strength, and tickets for the sport at London 2012 sold out in record time, which the Great Britain team hope will play to their advantage.
Being, by nature, rather skeptical, I decided to see if it was true. So, I wrote to the organization via its official website. That was yesterday and by today, no response. So, I tried simply to purchase tickets for wheelchair rugby via the paralympic ticket webshop and sure enough, if you search for wheelchair rugby, all events are followed by the words, "currently unavailable".
Murderball, by the way, was one of the most amazing movies I have ever seen. Even if you do not like sports and have no interest in Wheelchair Rugby, you will enjoy this movie. Read this Murderball Review to see why.
So, how can you watch Wheelchair Rugby from the 2012 paralympics? I am now researching this information and hope to have an answer to that question soon. Return to this blog for an update on how to watch the 2012 paralympics.