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Robot-Like Machines Helped People With Spinal Injuries Regain Function

NPR Technology

Scientists with the international scientific collaboration known as the "Walk Again Project" use noninvasive brain-machine interfaces in their efforts to reawaken damaged fibers in the spinal cord. Scientists with the international scientific collaboration known as the "Walk Again Project" use noninvasive brain-machine interfaces in their efforts to reawaken damaged fibers in the spinal cord. Researchers in Brazil who are trying to help people with spine injuries gain mobility have made a surprising discovery: Injured people doing brain training while interacting with robot-like machines were able to regain some sensation and movement. The findings, published in Scientific Reports (one of the Nature journals), suggest that damaged spinal tissue in some people with paraplegia can be retrained to a certain extent -- somewhat the way certain people can regain some brain function following stroke though repetition and practice. Even people with severe injuries can regain some sensation and function through physical therapy if some nerve fibers remain.


World first as three paralyzed people walk again: after implant was fitted in their spines

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Three people who were paralyzed for years have begun walking again after an implant was placed in their spines. Father-of-one Jered Chinnock, 29, who has been paralyzed since 2013, became the first patient ever to take independent steps following such a devastating injury at the Mayo Clinic. He just has to think about walking - or standing - and he does it. Two other patients, 23-year-old Kelly Thomas and 35-year-old Jeff Marquis, achieved similar success during another study conducted at the University of Louisville. Scientists previously believed that networks of neurons below a spinal cord injury were unable to function after someone was left paralyzed.


San Francisco homeless man's assault on cop shows dangers of police staff shortages, progressive agenda: union

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Severe staffing shortages at the San Francisco Police Department, paired with the local prosecutor's "criminal-first agenda" is creating a dangerous situation on city streets headed into the summer months, union president Tony Montoya said after one of his officers – left patrolling alone in Chinatown – was violently tackled to the ground by a homeless man until bystanders intervened. "I'm very concerned," Montoya, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, told Fox News. "If it's not safe for the police officers right now, what should the general public feel?"


Ex-LAPD detective awarded 2.1 million after claiming retaliation, discrimination

Los Angeles Times

A jury awarded 2.1 million Tuesday to a former Los Angeles police detective who claimed she was so mistreated and harassed after taking a medically ordered leave that she suffered irreversible harm and could no longer work. Maria Elena Montoya sued the city of L.A. and the LAPD in April 2013, contending that she was punished by one of her supervisors after suffering a back injury during a 2011 vacation. The ailment stemmed from a previous work-related injury, according to court papers. While on leave, an "ugly, untrue rumor" developed that Montoya was abusing her benefits. When she returned in early 2012, she was reassigned from the sex crimes desk to burglary, a move she considered a demotion, according to court papers.


Quantifying Performance of Bipedal Standing with Multi-channel EMG

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Spinal cord stimulation has enabled humans with motor complete spinal cord injury (SCI) to independently stand and recover some lost autonomic function. Quantifying the quality of bipedal standing under spinal stimulation is important for spinal rehabilitation therapies and for new strategies that seek to combine spinal stimulation and rehabilitative robots (such as exoskeletons) in real time feedback. To study the potential for automated electromyography (EMG) analysis in SCI, we evaluated the standing quality of paralyzed patients undergoing electrical spinal cord stimulation using both video and multi-channel surface EMG recordings during spinal stimulation therapy sessions. The quality of standing under different stimulation settings was quantified manually by experienced clinicians. By correlating features of the recorded EMG activity with the expert evaluations, we show that multi-channel EMG recording can provide accurate, fast, and robust estimation for the quality of bipedal standing in spinally stimulated SCI patients. Moreover, our analysis shows that the total number of EMG channels needed to effectively predict standing quality can be reduced while maintaining high estimation accuracy, which provides more flexibility for rehabilitation robotic systems to incorporate EMG recordings.