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Spinal cord repair restores independent breathing

first_img Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Share 19 Views   no discussionscenter_img HealthLifestyle Spinal cord repair restores independent breathing by: – July 14, 2011 Share By James GallagherHealth reporter, BBC NewsDamage to the spinal cord in the neck can result in problems breathingThe ability to breathe has been restored to mice with spinal cord injuries, in what US researchers describe as a medical first.Some patients with damaged spinal cords need ventilators as they are unable to breathe on their own.A report in the journal Nature showed a nerve graft, coupled with a protein, could restore breathing.Human trials could begin soon, which the charity Spinal Research said could be “potentially life-changing”.Damage at the top of the spinal cord, around the neck, can interrupt messages to the diaphragm – a layer of muscle involved in breathing.ChallengeThe cord is notoriously resistant to repair. Techniques such as nerve grafts, which worked in the arms and legs, had shown limited success with the spinal cord, doctors at the Case Western Reserve University said.The spinal cord scars after it is damaged, and molecules – chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans – prevent nerves repairing and forming new connections.The researchers used a nerve graft to form a bridge across the scar at the same time as injecting an enzyme – chondoitinase ABC – which attacked the inhibitory molecules.Three months later, tests showed the mice had recovered 80-100% of breathing function.Professor of neuroscience and lead researcher Jerry Silver said: “The use of the enzyme, that’s helped get the nerve fibres out and we were amazed at, once they get out, how well they can reconnect.“The spinal cord can just figure things out and restore really beautiful functional breathing patterns.”Researchers hope to begin trials in humans. They are also investigating whether bladder function can be restored, which can be lost when the lower spine is damaged.Dr Mark Bacon, from the charity Spinal Research, said: “Long distance regeneration has remained quite elusive in the field of spinal cord injury repair, so to achieve this and at the end of it establish functional connections that actually do something useful – restore breathing – is remarkable.“It is potentially life-changing if this or similar techniques can be translated to the clinic.”last_img read more

Beat writers predict outcome of Scott Shafer’s last game as head coach against Boston College

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Scott Shafer is coaching his last game as Syracuse’s (3-8, 1-6 Atlantic Coast) head coach against Boston College (3-8, 0-7). The Orange take on the Eagles at 12:30 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.Here’s how our beat writers think Shafer and his staff will be sent off:Sam Blum (7-4)Syracuse 17, Boston College 14Stand with ShaferSyracuse might not be the more talented team on the field today. They might not be the more talented team on the field most days. But the Orange is winning on Saturday for Scott Shafer.Jesse Dougherty (8-3)Boston College 27, Syracuse 17Closing timeAdvertisementThis is placeholder textSure, it would be nice and probably even logical that Syracuse comes out guns blazing to honor its coaches. But don’t you think we would have already seen that kind of buckle-down, there’s-no-tomorrow grit if the players had it in them? I’m not saying they won’t play hard in Scott Shafer and staff’s final game, but I’m saying that it ultimately won’t matter. On an emotional day, the Orange loses nine straight by being the same team that lost eight straight.Matt Schneidman (9-2)Syracuse 28, Boston College 17Final standThis game isn’t about Boston College’s top-ranked defense in the ACC. Nor is it about a Syracuse defense that has struggled mightily all season. It’s Scott Shafer’s last game as head coach along with all his assistants. And most of SU’s contributors were recruited by current staff. The Orange comes out with a win not to salvage a fourth victory on the season, but to send the coaches that brought them here out on top.Paul Schwedelson (10-1)Syracuse 27, Boston College 13Good ‘ole rump kickingSyracuse does to Boston College what Scott Shafer said his wife does to him when he’s not enthusiastic enough — kick them in the rump. On Saturday, SU’s players “fight the good fight” — whatever that means — and the Shafer era ends on a much more positive note than the rest of his time as SU’s head coach. It’s the players that have been a part of the last two recruiting classes – see Jordan Fredericks, Ervin Philips and Steven Clark – that carry the Orange to victory. Comments Published on November 28, 2015 at 10:56 amlast_img read more

Breast cancer survivor Anna Smith soldiers on

first_imgWith October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Caribbean National Weekly sat down with breast cancer survivor, Jamaican Anna Smith, to discuss her journey with the disease. She spoke candidly about her decisions, and how she feels now that it is all behind her. Tanya N. RagbeerAt 50 years old, cancer survivor Anna Smith discovered that something was wrong during a breast examination self-test. She found a lump in one of her breasts and was quick to act. “Well, I’d better go to the doctor and find out what it is,” she thought.This was March, 2015. However, it wasn’t until May of that year that she was officially diagnosed.“I went to the doctor and got all my tests done, got my mammogram done. The office that I went to, Pembroke Pink, has a doctor on staff and actually tells you immediately (whether or not there is anything positive),” said Smith.The staff are also quick to respond, so when I did the mammogram, the lady looked at me and said, ‘let me get the doctor’.”Positive diagnosis  When the doctor arrived, he was also forthcoming. “It looks positive,” he told her and immediately recommended additional testing. Smith was sent for a biopsy and ultrasound, which produced positive results though it did not appear to have spread to her other breast, or organs.Anna’s family (husband Patrick, daughter Rachel, and son Ryan) are very supportive of her fight against cancer.Smith, a practical person, told her husband. “It’s positive, I have to make an appointment with a surgical oncologist so I’ll do that today, but right now, I’m going to work.”Several biopsiesThe surgical oncologist scheduled several biopsies: a standard biopsy, an MRI biopsy, and one where “they do the biopsy while you are sitting on a chair, you can actually see your results on a screen in front of you,” she said.  Each came back positive.Following conclusive results on the breast, the doctor recommended checking the other, “just to make sure.” So, Smith was sent back to do additional biopsies on the other breast.“I have always had fibrocystic breasts,” Smith proclaimed.However, the results were negative. Despite the fact, the doctor felt there was a high percentage that something could develop in the cancer-free breast.“We would have to make a decision,” Smith was told “either we wait and see if anything develops in the other one, or you take care of them both at the same time.”No hesitationWithout hesitation, Smith told her doctor, “There is no decision to make. Whatever has to be done, let’s go ahead and do it.”Double mastectomyShe endured a double mastectomy.  “The way I look at it is, that you can’t be afraid. Yes, you’re nervous and you don’t know what stage you’re at, you don’t know how far it’s gone… when you first find out, you don’t know all of these things,”  said the cancer survivor.When the doctor read her the results, she immediately told him, “I don’t want to take out the lump, I just want to take it off.” And when he asked her about the other one, she responded, “I’ll just take that off too.”Not wanting to be consumed by the experience, Smith continued working “like nothing happened” until she received the final results.“If I was to sit at home and focus on it or discuss it a lot before I found out how bad it was, I think I would have been more frightened, but I think that because I kept myself busy, I didn’t focus too much on it.Reconstruction Anna Smith went through six surgeries.  “It would have been probably four, but I had a mishap with one of them so I had to take it out and start all over again,” she explained.The surgeries took a toll on her body.“When you think of the breast, you don’t realize how many muscles are there that you use every day to get up, down, move around. It is very difficult.”Smith faced two options:Take fat from the stomach to build the breasts, which takes an estimated 7-12 hours with one or two surgeries. The results are “more natural” though the healing is longer (six to eight weeks) each.Implants (Anna’s choice); four to six surgeries, each with a recovery time of three weeks. This one feels “less natural,” according to Smith.“I feel fine. When I look at them, they don’t look real to me, but they don’t look bad. Sometimes they are a little uncomfortable. Every day gets a little easier.”“Honestly, if I had to do it again,” added cancer survivor Smith, “I don’t think I would put them on. I would just go without.”last_img read more