Everyone I know was cheering for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords when she was attacked.  After a life threatening gunshot wound to the head she was transferred from Arizona to a first class rehabilitation hospital in Houston where she would undergo her rehabilitation and at the same time be close to her astronaut husband’s workplace.   Gabby Giffords received the best care possible and is a perfect example of our ability to save lives and return people to their highest level of function.  It was the care that she needed and we are all delighted that she is received the best that medicine has to offer.  The question is, would you or your family be able to obtain the same level of care?... [ Read More ]

Originally published in U.S. Neurology
Downloadable PDF

Until recently, the rehabilitation of stroke patients relied heavily on treatment that focused on teaching them how to compensate for their physical deficits. However, the latest neurorehabilitation studies show that the concept of neural plasticity (the ability of the brain to repair itself) can be applied effectively to the rehabilitation regimen of such patients, leading to improved outcomes and enhanced functional abilities. Stroke patients with limited voluntary movement could now benefit from technologies such as functional electrical stimulation (FES) combined with necessary repetition of functional tasks (use-dependent plasticity) to enhance the neural repair process and improve outcomes, thus enabling them to begin to overcome their previous limitations and to improve their physical capabilities.... [ Read More ]

You are on a dead run home from work. First you picked up Josh at the school after care center and now you are trying to rush through the local grocery store  to pick up a few things you need for dinner.  You astutely head for the checkout lane with only one person ahead of you.  The woman in front of you is elderly with her cane draped over her cart handle and her pocket book perched on the shopping cart.  You try not be annoyed by her slowness so you pick up one of the trade magazines haranguing the evils of stimulants in children with Attention Deficit Disorder while Josh eyes all the candy conveniently placed at his eye level.  What is taking her so long?  Just when you think she has finished, she asks the cashier if someone can fetch her a stick of butter she has forgotten.  It’s enough to make you buy the magazine and the candy bar that Josh has started to unwrap!... [ Read More ]

Each day we listen to new predictions about how the events of today or the future will cause the world to implode.  But, let’s assume we will once again navigate our way through these disastrous mine fields.  As we enter the second decade of the new millennium will we not only be traveling to new destinations in space, but also repairing and rewiring human brains?  These are exciting times for patients with disabilities, as we perform experiments using stem cells and engineered nervous system cells.   Will we cure currently incurable diseases?  Will patients walk again?  Time will tell.... [ Read More ]

Chronic pain is a major social and economic problem that consumes numerous resources, affects millions of lives and is a major source of both physical and psychological disability.  Just as it does today, pain has always played a prominent role in our society and it is interesting to look back and trace its manifestations and treatments at different times in our history.... [ Read More ]

Welcome to my new blog -hopefully not just another blog, but one that is designed to be a voice for people with disabilities, their families, and the healthcare professionals who care for them. All three categories – survivors, families, and healthcare professionals – are minorities whose voices have a hard time being heard above the loud voices of so many others.... [ Read More ]

The Miniskirt and the Disabled Parking Spot... [ Read More ]

Jane is taking care of the grandchildren today and truly has her hands full, particularly with her newly walking grandson moving at incredible speeds.  While hurrying from one room to the other she trips on an errant toy falling sharply on her right side and fracturing her hip.  Bill’s balance isn’t as good as it used to be and he just can’t seem to reach the paint on the top shelf.  As he gets up on his tip toes to make himself a little taller, he tumbles off the step ladder suffering a severe head injury.  Carolyn has been worried about her osteoporosis and all the advertisements that she sees on television juts add to her concerns.  She knows she shouldn’t have all those small throw rugs in her house, but they go perfectly with her décor and she spent years collecting them.  Then one day she slips on her favorite rug and falls square on her buttocks, causing a severe compression fracture in her spine.... [ Read More ]

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