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Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News September 2019

The PVA Education Foundation has awarded more than $300,00 to fund projects that aim to educate and empower people with SCI/D

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Education is the key that unlocks the world. While information is important, education allows one to access, understand and use information effectively. 

Too often, individuals with new spinal-cord injuries are bombarded with information from many different sources but need help in sorting through it, accessing it and determining how to use it to improve the quality of their lives and those of their families and caregivers. 


Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Education Foundation’s mission is to fund innovative educational projects that enhance the quality of life of individuals with spinal-cord injury or disease (SCI/D) and/or increase the knowledge and effectiveness of health professionals in the SCI/D community. 

This year, the PVA Education Foundation has funded 10 grants to meet this mission. These projects vary broadly in topic and scope, but each will have an impact in moving from information to education for those who participate.

Assistive Technology

Feasibility Of Neural Stimulation To Facilitate Independent Transfers After Paralysis

Brooke Odle, PhD

Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of 
Veterans Affairs Medical Center 

Cleveland

$49,660

Bed, chair or toilet transfers are important activities of daily living for many individuals with paralysis.

The sitting-pivot, where individuals use their arms and upper body to lift, rotate and lower themselves onto the desired surface, is the most common transfer method. Because of increased reliance on the upper body, pain and instability from shoulder muscle weakness, paralysis or overuse are common within the SCI/D population.

Some options exist to reduce the shoulder burden, including sliding boards and relatively expensive and immobile hoists and lifts. However, this study proposes that neural stimulation of the paralyzed upper body and/or legs could be an efficient alternative. The project aims to determine the feasibility of using neural stimulation to assist individuals with paralysis when they perform conventional transfers using their preferred transfer strategy. The study will also capture the user’s impressions of the technology.

 

For more information on the PVA Education Foundation grant cycle, contact Director 
of Research and Education Cheryl Vines at 
cherylv@pva.org or 202-416-7668. 


 

To read more about this, order the September 2019 PN, Click Here.
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