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Determined2Heal helps simplify the transition into life with paralysis. We provide information and advice for people with spinal cord injuries, their families and friends, as well as rehabilitative adventures. Get started in the Steps to Recovery Section.

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News and Announcements

Five People to Take Part in 3D Nerve Bridge Trial

The Perry Cross Foundation and Griffith University in Australia are gearing up for exciting things in spinal cord injury research in 2023. They’re currently searching for five individuals with chronic spinal cord injuries to take part in their groundbreaking trial utilizing a 3D nerve bridge, which will includes the patient’s own stem cells added to the bridge to encourage nerve growth. The participants will undergo intensive rehabilitation as well, including FES, for 16 weeks. Learn more

Swiss Researchers Pinpoint Neurons Responsible for Walking

Researchers now know exactly why electrical stimulation therapy works on people with complete spinal cord injuries thanks to a machine learning algorithm. It was able to identify the exact neurons responsible for leg movement and other movement initiated from the electrical stimulation. Researchers hope to utilize this knowledge to help people gain even more return after their injuries. Read more

Scientists Discover Molecule That Activates Regrowth of Nerve Axons

Researchers at Imperial College London announced they discovered a molecule, TTK21, that has the ability to promote regrowth of neurons in injured spinal cords (in mice). Given an injection of the molecule on a weekly basis, not only did neuronal regrowth occur, there was an increase in synapses which are needed for neuronal transmission. This marks the first time scientists have discovered such a molecule that has this highly sought-after ability. The mice in this study however did not regain the ability to walk. Researchers plan to continue researching TTK21 with the goal of boosting it’s effects. Learn more

Cancer Drug Regenerates Nerves in Mice

Researchers in the UK have discovered that a new drug created to treat cancer by making tumors more sensitive to radiation also has the ability to promote nerve regeneration in mice. In their research, lab mice were given an oral dose of the drug, AZD1390, which promoted the nerve growth. The drug also stopped a biological response in the human body, the ATM protein kinase pathway, that prevents nerve recovery. Learn more

Respiratory Muscle Activation in People with Chronic Spinal Cord Injury

At the University of Louisville, researchers are utilizing their activity-based therapy, which has been helping people regain function via electro simulation for years, to specifically help high-level quadriplegics breathe again without ventilator assistance. See the latest on this research here.

Rutgers Researchers Use AI to Treat Paralysis

Researchers at Rutgers University working on U.S. National Science Foundation grants have stabilized Chondroitinase ABC, an enzyme that can reverse and regenerate tissue damage from spinal cord injuries. Using artificial intelligence and robotics, the team formulated therapeutic proteins that help repair damaged spinal cord tissue. Read more

Enhanced Epidural Stimulation Helps Patients Walk in 24 Hours

There has been a lot of talk about epidural simulation since it was first used on a man with a spinal cord injury in 2009. Fast-forward 13 years later, the STIMO trial in Switzerland has recently concluded, and thanks to a new method of epidural stimulation that was used (they stimulated a larger area), all three participants were able to walk or stand within 24 hours of the surgery. While this treatment is not yet ready for everyday use, it shows real hope is on the horizon. Read more

$24 Million to go to Soft Gel Research

Mend the Gap, a research project at the University of British Columbia, just received $24 million from Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund 2020 Transformation to see if biomaterials (specifically soft gels) can help cure paralysis. Read more

Scientists at Northwestern University Help Severely Injured Mice Walk Again Using “Dancing Molecules”

Dr. Samuel Stupp his team at Northwestern University in Chicago have made a true breakthrough in spinal cord injury research. They were able to cure severely injured mice using an an injection of synthesized peptides below the level of injury. These peptides forms into a gel onto the spinal cord creating a network of mesh fibers that carry signals, aka “dancing molecules,” to the neurons to begin regeneration. They hope to begin human trials next year by getting advanced FDA approval. Read more

Drug Helps Sensory Neurons Regrow in Mouse Central Nervous System

Researchers have identified a drug that helps sensory neurons in the central nervous system heal. They gave mice a drug called fenofibrate that’s approved by the FDA to treat high cholesterol. It activated the support cells surrounding sensory neurons and helped them regrow about twice as fast as normal. No human studies are as of yet planned. Read more

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