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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

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

New 3D Bioprinting Research Shows Potential

Although the research was conducted on rats and not humans (they say humans will be next, and soon), a new method of 3D bioprinting neural tissues developed in China has shown exciting potential. “In a new study, published in the journal Biomaterials, the team outlines how the bio-ink can be 3D-printed into scaffolds that encourage interactions between cells, which is vital to reversing the paralysis caused by SCIs.” Read more

Acute Injuries May Fare Better If Given Gabapentin Right Away

Researchers at Ohio State University have recently discovered that the widely prescribed pain relief drug Gabapentin may help people with acute spinal cord injuries have less severe autonomic dysreflexia down the road. The key is making sure they are given the drug right away. Learn more

Yale University Uses Mouse’s Own Stem Cells to Cure Paralysis

Researchers at Yale have recently expressed sincere excitement over the results they have seen from a working with Japanese researchers to help people with spinal cord injuries regain function. After injecting paralyzed mice with their own stem cells, some regained mobility. Read a breakdown of this research from Sam Maddox here

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