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Susan Harkema, Ph.D.
Amazing Breakthrough for Spinal Cord Injury Patients
A team of scientists at the University of Louisville, UCLA and the California Institute of Technology has achieved a significant breakthrough in its initial work with a paralyzed male volunteer at Louisville’s Frazier Rehab Institute. It is the result of 30 years of research to find potential clinical therapies for paralysis.
The man, Rob Summers, age 25, was completely paralyzed below the chest after being struck by a vehicle in a hit and run accident in July 2006. Today, he is able to reach a standing position, supplying the muscular push himself. He can remain standing, and bearing weight, for up to four minutes at a time (up to an hour with periodic assistance when he weakens). Aided by a harness support and some therapist assistance, he can make repeated stepping motions on a treadmill. He can also voluntarily move his toes, ankles, knees and hips on command. Dr. Susan Harkema joins the show to discuss this amazing, life-changing research!
Susan Harkema, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Louisville; Rehabilitation Research Director at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center; Director of Research at the Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville; and Director of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network. A leading researcher in the field of neurological rehabilitation, she is the lead author of The Lancet article.
Dr. Glen House
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