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Thread: www.projectwalk.org - any comments?

  1. #11
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    I don't think it's a scam but if professionals ran it insurance would cover it.....for a very short time. They don't promise miracles and from what the Europeans have done with treadmills and just mat work, I think some incompletes could gain a lot from this kind of work out center. I'd love to hear the charge for a week's workouts too.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    First step to helping paralyzed walk

    First step to helping paralyzed walk
    By LIDIA WASOWICZ
    UPI Senior Science Writer
    Published 10/24/2001 4:33 PM


    In a first step toward helping the paralyzed to walk, scientists have found brain areas that control movement continue to work normally in patients with spinal cord injuries that have left them immobile.

    The promise is in technologies now under development that might serve as brain-computer interfaces, eventually enabling quadriplegics -- also known as tetraplegics -- to leave their wheelchairs, using signals from an implant in their brain, the investigators said in the British journal Nature. Any practical applications are years away, they cautioned.

    The functional magnetic resonance imaging study of five patients who suffered nerve damage one to five years earlier revealed the brains of those unable to move below the neck respond in much the same way as do those of healthy individuals with no spinal injury.

    The study by researchers at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City appears to calm concerns that the brain's motor centers will cease to function if they are not put to use and suggests computer implants to bypass damaged nerves might one day make it possible for paralyzed people to move and perhaps even walk again, scientists told United Press International.

    "It won't happen next year, but it will happen," Jeffrey Goldberg of the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., told UPI. "It may be that surface, rather than implanted sensors, may be refined sufficiently, however, avoiding the need for implants."

    Researchers had feared the brains of the paralyzed might not retain the ability to send signals to muscles because when portions of the brain are not used, they often undergo "reorganization," under which other areas take over the computing power for other purposes. This does not appear to be the case for at least a while.

    "The motor part of the brain does not significantly reorganize for at least five years after spinal cord injury. That's what we showed," lead study author Richard Normann, professor of bioengineering and ophthalmology, said in a telephone interview. "This is very encouraging news."

    While the experiment cannot rule out changes occurring in the brain's motor cortex at a finer scale beyond the MRI resolution, "these finding are somewhat reassuring for those who think about neuroprostheses," said physiologist Ferdinando Mussa-Ivaldi of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University Medical School in Evanston, Ill.

    "At least one may have some confidence about what regions should be considered for capturing, say, hand movement commands," he told UPI.

    "This study suggests that many years from now, technologies being developed in the laboratory today might enable paralyzed individuals to stand up out of a wheelchair and walk," Normann said.

    Already, he noted, "a number of researchers are trying to develop brain-computer interfaces that can be used to control external devices -- robotic arms, wheelchairs, computer terminals -- using signals originating within a paralyzed person's brain."

    Initially, command signals from the brain could be used to control such devices, said Normann, who is also using the "engineered" approach in designing artificial systems to help the blind to see and the deaf to hear.

    "But eventually these same signals perhaps could be used to directly control the muscles of a paraplegic person, ultimately allowing them to move their body just through the desire to do so," he said. "That's really a long way away."

    The study is but a first step. The MRI images showed the appropriate brain areas of five young adults paralyzed in traffic accidents "lit up" when the subjects were asked to move their hands or ankles, purse their lips, rotate their elbows and extend their knees. The same reaction came from the brains of fully mobile students in response to the same requests.

    The lip pursing came easily to all five volunteers with nerve injuries since the head rises above the damaged section of the spine. One of the subjects was able to move his hands, the other four were quadriplegics, incapable of any movement below the neck.

    The brain response implies the motor cortex does not degenerate significantly -- and can still send command signals -- in people paralyzed by spinal cord injury.

    Much work remains, Normann said, including:

    --lab experiments to determine the safety of long-term implantation of an electrode to read brain signals;

    --once deemed safe, human tests of implants, perhaps in patients undergoing brain tumor surgery;

    --trials with paraplegics and quadriplegics to determine whether the electrodes could receive command signals from the motor cortex;

    --eventually, implantation of electrodes adjacent to the spinal cord to receive command signals from the electrodes in the brain -- via wires or radio signals -- and relay them to the appropriate muscles.

    Animal tests have already indicated small electrodes implanted in the sciatic nerves receive external command signals and can be used to control ankle movements.

    "The idea of computer implants is conceptually straightforward," W. Zev Rymer, research director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, told UPI. "However, I doubt that it is yet practical from a medical standpoint."

    While some of the technologies already exist, important challenges remain, added Ivaldi.

    "One is to establish long lasting and widespread connections between brains and conductive materials. The currently used glass and metal electrodes are not likely to offer the best solutions," he told UPI.

    "Another challenge concerns our ability to act on the mechanisms that are responsible for the reorganization of brain circuitry. In other words, we should find ways to 'program' the nervous tissue so that a patient may learn to control an artificial arm even if the electrical contacts are not placed exactly where the commands for the arm were originally formed."

    The work is "just the beginning of this new therapeutic approach to problems of the nervous system," said Normann, who envisions a tetraplegic eventually controlling his wheelchair -- or his bladder -- through volitional thought.

    Restoring movement will require a two-way approach. Bypassing the damaged spinal cord, brain signals will have to be sent through electrodes to the muscles, which will then have to provide sensory feedback to the brain. The brain, in turn, must "know" the physical location of, say, the legs, to exert control over their movement. This may require additional electrodes in the sensory cortex and outside the spinal cord to carry the message from the muscle to the brain, scientists said.

    This "engineered" approach comprises one of two major fronts currently pursued in paralysis research. The other involves biological solutions using gene therapy or stem cells to regenerate damaged spinal tissue.

    "Certainly there is room for both to work together," Goldberg told UPI. "The bio-robotic interface is already being looked at in humans, whereas the genetic/molecular/stem cell approach is still mostly confined to animal models for further study first."

    While the work opens the door to new devices, it is important to avoid raising false hopes, Normann cautioned.

    "It's important we not oversell what we're trying to do," he said." It's a long race we're running, and we need to jump many more hurdles. But we're running as fast as possible and jumping as high as we can."

    Copyright © 2002 United Press International


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  3. #13

    Project Walk Cost

    I emailed them regarding the cost. It costs $1,200 per month. For this money you can work out as much as you want. They gave me their phone number and asked me to give them a call. Given I don't think the $1,200 includes living expenses - I will have to pass.

    Deb

  4. #14
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Here's what they say

    Project Walk
    A Year in Review, 2001

    Certain Incomplete Quadriplegics (C4/5 to C8)
    Injured Less Than A Year Can And Should Recover!


    Project Walk has grown from one client to 13 in one year. The most amazing thing we've learned is that most incomplete C4/5-C8 quadriplegics who have been injured less than a year can recover! We have been able to reproduce amazing results with all of our clients. Those that have been in Project Walk for more than a year are WALKING, those over six months are riding a spin bike and doing leg presses, and those less than six months are increasing strength and endurance weekly.

    Why are we getting results that seem impossible? It's real simple--we ask for them! From the day someone is injured, they are given very little chance of recovery. They are told what can and cannot be done with their bodies. Very little is asked of the paralyzed nervous system and muscles. So they sit in a wheelchair and get on with their life. We think differently at Project Walk!

    The first thing anyone sees when entering our center is a dynamic atmosphere. People are everywhere. Some are walking; some are riding a bike; others are on the floor. Everyone is working and everyone expects to get better. Perspective clients have the opportunity to spend an hour or so observing and talking to our different clients while they workout. All of us at Project Walk ask our clients to get better, and we expect that they will! We can't, and don't promise that everyone will recover fully, but we do promise to match their effort with our own.

    What We Learned In 2001:

    · Every month spent in a wheelchair post-injury means two to three months longer to recover. The sooner someone starts Project Walk, the faster they get better. After the first year in a wheelchair, muscle and nervous system return becomes a lot more difficult, but not impossible. One of our walking clients has been in a wheelchair for 10 years!

    · The key to getting better is going after what the body has to offer. As long as there is something in the legs--spasms, feeling, burning, pain, etc., there is a chance of recovery. In the beginning we use whatever the body gives us.

    · One hour of training will not work! On average, our clients spend over three hours training, three days a week. Overloading the muscles and nervous system is key to recovery.

    · Working the postural muscles. We do this by working the body as a whole unit. We start postural training the first day by getting the client out of their wheelchair and onto the floor.

    · Working all muscles and the nervous system. By movement, visualization, stretch reflex, and closed chain exercises, we directly impact and strengthen the muscles and nervous system.

    · Our clients are strong and have endurance. Most ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes or more a day.




    What We Learned About Paraplegics in 2001:

    Paraplegic injuries are a different ballgame all together from quadriplegics. In the last six months we have had four new paraplegic clients start Project Walk. We have learned quite a bit from them about the differences between paraplegics and quadriplegics and how to go about treating paraplegics and paving their path to recovery.

    Although the injuries and recovery plans are different, one thing remains the same---the sooner you begin our program, your chances of recovery are much better. This is even more so with paraplegics than with quadriplegics.

    Project Walk Theory On Incomplete Paraplegics And Their First Six Months Post-Injury.

    1. If your goal is to walk again, you don't want to lifts weights for your upper body. Our reasoning is that traditional weight lifting of the upper body will change the way your brain sends signals from point A to point B. By ignoring your legs and lifting weights for the upper body, your arms now become your legs. You send signals from your brain that your arms now act as your legs so you don't need them any longer.

    2. We work with what you've got! If you have nerve pain, we work it. Our clients have electric pluses flowing into their legs; some have feeling. Whatever there is, we work it to increase any feeling.

    3. We begin weight bearing on the legs at once. They also do multi-tasking movements while weight bearing. Most recovered spinal cord injuries can't weight bear efficiently. It's our goal to teach efficient weight bearing.

    4. We get on the floor immediately and begin core stability exercises. This does help with the upper body strength, but the main focus is on the muscles below the injury.

    5. It is extremely important to workout the legs five days a week or they will be lost. Our new paraplegic clients come in five days a week and spend over two hours working out. Guest what? Their muscle size and strength below the injury is increasing.

    6. We get our clients on a spin bike in the second week. At first, we have one trainer hold them on the seat while another trainer turns the pedals for them. However, within two weeks, all of our paraplegic clients were pedaling on their own, using only their muscles.

    Will this work for incomplete paraplegics? We honestly don't know at the moment. But the two individuals that started three months post-injury are improving weekly. Both can ride a spin bike for over 30 minutes, both are doing weight bearing exercise using their legs, and both have stood with help. One client can move her ankles after only two months. Project Walk is a work in progress, so we don't have all the answers. We learn a little more with each new client and implement that knowledge to our program.

    Our trainers and you will know if you are improving within the first few months. It is a long and tedious road to recovery, but we promise to work as hard as you!


    2001 Client Results

    Quadriplegic Clients

    Mike Thomas, C7. Started 3/99; 3 months post-injury. Mike has achieved his goal--he is walking, skiing, dancing. Email: mthomas4@san.rr.com

    Dana Liesegang, C4-5. Started 9/01; 10 years post-injury. Dana is learning to walk with style without adaptive aids and riding her bike. Email: wojdand@yahoo.com

    VJ Berry, C8. Started 1/01; 10 months post-injury. VJ is also learning to walk with style without adaptive aids. Email: mctiv@yahoo.com

    Scott Sterling, C7. Started 5/01; 9 years post-injury. Scott has gotten better control of his spasms and has increased his size and strength. Email: scott@winemaker.com

    Matt Thiede, C5. Started 6/01; 12 months post-injury. Matt rides a spin bike for 30 minutes; is learning how to stand; and has taken a few steps. Email: thiedius@aol.com

    Corky Packard, C6-7. Started 8/01; 18 months post-injury. Our oldest client, Corky has gained amazing strength and range of motion in the 4 months he's been with us. Email: corky-packard@att.net

    Joey Pulford, C4-5. Started 9/01; 12 months post-injury. Joey stood for the first time in December and is beginning to ride a spin bike. His short-term goal is walking up to get his high school diploma; his long-term goal is full recovery and surfing again. Email: onearmscizor@yahoo.com or xaosmakr@netzero.com

    Mario Miragliotta, C5-6. Started 11/01; 5 months post-injury. Mario has gotten 100% stronger in less than a month. He now stands and rides the spin bike with some help. Email: sergio@hotmail.com

    John Murphy, C4-5. Started 11/01; 2 years post-injury. John could barely walk with a walker before entering the program. He is stronger and his posture and range of motion is the best it has ever been. Phone: 760/765-0841.

    Paraplegic Clients

    Felicia LaJeunesse, T6. Started 2/01; 2 years post-injury. Felicia can stand while holding on, and is riding the spin bike. Email: mlajeune@san.rr.com

    Paola Franyutti, L1. Started 11/01; 6 weeks post-injury with no feeling in her legs. Paola now has feeling in her quads, hamstrings, inner thighs and ankles. She rides a spin bike at least 45 minutes and is visibly getting stronger by the day.

    Jeremy McGhee, T10. Started 1/02; 3 months post-injury. After 3 visits, Jeremy can pedal a spin bike on his own, and his legs are "lighting up like a Christmas tree." Email: mcgoose56@hotmail.com

    Jeff Munsen, T12. Started 10/11/01; 19 months post-injury. After 2 months, Jeff had greater strength and power in his quadriceps and could ride a spin bike on his own for 30 mintues.


    Project Walk
    Goals for 2002

    Most people do not believe that we can take someone with a certain incomplete injury from a power chair to walking. We believe we can and we are reproducing the results! The only way we can prove our technique works is to get more results. In 2002, we are hoping to attract 50 newly injured incomplete clients to enroll in Project Walk. We define newly injured as up to 12 months post-injury. Up to six months is the most perfect time to begin; six months to one year is ideal; after one year recovery becomes more difficult, but not impossible! Although it is much more of a challenge, we will take clients who have the determination and commitment to recover no matter how long they have been injured as long as they meet certain entry requirements.

    As Project Walk continues to grow, we will be moving into a larger training center in Carlsbad, CA before summer 2002. The new center is designed for only one purpose: taking someone from a wheelchair to walking.

    Please help us spread the word about Project Walk! Feel free to forward this information to perspective SCI clients, their families, newspapers, TV stations, research institutes, foundations--anyone that might help those people who are looking for a way to recover.

    At anytime, you are invited to stop in and see for yourself the progress that our clients are making or visit our website: www.projectwalk.org.
    We are currently located at 11526 Sorrento Valley Road, San Diego, CA 92121.


    *************************************************


    Mission Statement:
    To prove that certain incomplete spinal cord injuries don't mean a lifetime in a wheelchair; that recovery is possible.

    Location:
    Project Walk is based in North County San Diego at Roo Roo Sports Training Center, located at 11526 Sorrento Valley Road, San Diego, CA 92121. Sorrento Valley is located between Del Mar and La Jolla, right off the 5 freeway. Within a 10-mile radius, there are over 5,000 hotel rooms to choose from.

    By August 2002, we will be moving into a new facility designed specifically for the needs of our SCI clients and their journey to recovery. The new location will be in the Carlsbad area. At that time, we will have a list of hotels, apartments, condo's for rent, and a real estate agent to help with your relocation.

    We are currently located only in San Diego, CA. The weather is great-come visit us!

    How Do I Get Started:
    For many it is hard to believe that we can reproduce our results. Don't take our word for it-let us prove it to you. Come and visit us for a week or two. Spend five days a week, up to three hours a day, working with our trainers. Talk to our other clients; find out about their improvements. Observe what we do. This way you can see firsthand if Project Walk is for you. Just let us know a week in advance when you will be arriving and we will put you on the schedule. It's that simple. A one-week visit is $300; a two-week visit is $600. This weekly fee is prorated from our monthly rate.

    Cost Of The Program:
    We charge a monthly fee of $1200 due the first of each month. Newly injured paraplegics train five days a week. Quadriplegics start out with three days a week (every other day) and build up to four than five days a week. The average time a client spends training is 3 hours a day. This program is not covered by insurance and will never be covered by insurance. Insurance controls the program and limits what can and cannot be done. At Project Walk we have the freedom to do what is right for our clients.

    When we move into our new facility, our overhead will increase, so the cost of the program will increase to $1500 per month.

    It is possible that it will take up to two years for you to achieve your goal. But at no time are you financially committed to a two-year program. Payment is on a month-to-month schedule.

    Contact Information:
    Phone: (760) 734-4588
    Email: roorootraining@home.com
    Due excite@home going out of business, our email address will change within the next two weeks.
    Website: www.projectwalk.org

  5. #15
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    The documents below were emailed to me today, after I inquired about costs.

  6. #16
    Initial treatment facilities for some of our clients:

    Treated at The Miami Project
    Mike Thomas, C7. Started 3/99; 3 months post-injury. Mike has achieved his goal--he is walking, skiing, dancing. Email: mthomas4@san.rr.com


    Treated at several VA facilities over 10yrs
    Dana Liesegang, C4-5. Started 9/01; 10 years post-injury. Dana is learning to walk with style without adaptive aids and riding her bike. Email: wojdand@yahoo.com


    Treated at Craig Hospital
    VJ Berry, C8. Started 1/01; 10 months post-injury. VJ is also learning to walk with style without adaptive aids. Email: mctiv@yahoo.com


    Treated at Healthsouth (returned to Project Walk after zero to negative progress for 6 months)
    Matt Thiede, C5. Started 6/01; 12 months post-injury. Matt rides a spin bike for 30 minutes; is learning how to stand; and has taken a few steps. Email: thiedius@aol.com


    Treated at Sharp Memorial
    Corky Packard, C6-7. Started 8/01; 18 months post-injury. Our oldest client, Corky has gained amazing strength and range of motion in the 4 months he's been with us. Email: corky-packard@att.net

    John Murphy, C4-5. Started 11/01; 2 years post-injury. John could barely walk with a walker before entering the program. He is stronger and his posture and range of motion is the best it has ever been. Phone: 760/765-0841.

    Felicia LaJeunesse, T6. Started 2/01; 2 years post-injury. Felicia can stand while holding on, and is riding the spin bike. Email: mlajeune@san.rr.com


    Treated at Long Beach Memorial
    Joey Pulford, C4-5. Started 9/01; 12 months post-injury. Joey stood for the first time in December and is beginning to ride a spin bike. His short-term goal is walking up to get his high school diploma; his long-term goal is full recovery and surfing again. Email: onearmscizor@yahoo.com or xaosmakr@netzero.com


    Not sure of the rest feel free to email them:

    Scott Sterling, C7. Started 5/01; 9 years post-injury. Scott has gotten better control of his spasms and has increased his size and strength. Email: scott@winemaker.com

    Mario Miragliotta, C5-6. Started 11/01; 5 months post-injury. Mario has gotten 100% stronger in less than a month. He now stands and rides the spin bike with some help. Email: sergio@hotmail.com

    Paraplegic Clients

    Paola Franyutti, L1. Started 11/01; 6 weeks post-injury with no feeling in her legs. Paola now has feeling in her quads, hamstrings, inner thighs and ankles. She rides a spin bike at least 45 minutes and is visibly getting stronger by the day.

    Jeremy McGhee, T10. Started 1/02; 3 months post-injury. After 3 visits, Jeremy can pedal a spin bike on his own, and his legs are "lighting up like a Christmas tree." Email: mcgoose56@hotmail.com

    Jeff Munsen, T12. Started 10/11/01; 19 months post-injury. After 2 months, Jeff had greater strength and power in his quadriceps and could ride a spin bike on his own for 30 mintues.

    [This message was edited by Snowman on January 29, 2002 at 12:01 AM.]

    [This message was edited by Snowman on January 29, 2002 at 12:02 AM.]

  7. #17
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    Publish?

    Have they published their methods ?

    Eric Texley

  8. #18

    Research

    Eric

    We have not had time to publish any research, since Project Walk did not truly begin until last year. We have proven results i.e. Mike, Dana, VJ, and Matt, however only Mike has been with the program for 2 or more years.


    Project Walk

  9. #19
    Senior Member bill j.'s Avatar
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    Ok, Snowman, you don't seem to have time to publish research. Perhaps you could explain briefly why people imporve.

  10. #20

    Bill

    I believe you misunderstood my answer. I was not stating that we did not have the time to do research, I was stating the fact that our program is a 2 year program and currently Mike is the only client who has completed the entire 2 years. We have 3 other clients who are walking who have been with us for a little over a year or less. Although these 3 clients are following in Mike's footsteps (no pun intended) in their recovery process, it would be premature to use this information in a research paper. Furthermore, it would be unwise to base any research conclusions soley on the success of a single client. This is why we are looking for more people to join our program. We are seeking a total of 15 clients with the same or similar (C5-C7) injuries to help us prove the validity of our methods. This is not to say that we are not taking on other injuries below these sites for future research, just that C5-C7 injuries are what we are focusing on for current research purposes.

    To answer your question Bill (until we publish)

    A hell of a lot of determination to walk and the exercise work ethic of a pro athlete.

    Signed:

    Eric Harness, CSCS (aka Snowman)
    Director of Sport Performance
    Project Walk
    11526 Sorrento Valley Rd.
    San Diego, Ca 92107

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