by Sam Maddox — Scientific Advisory Board Director, U2FP

Unite 2 Fight Paralysis Annual Science and Advocacy Symposium is the best way to find out about the science to heal the injured spinal cord. This is also the place for members of the spinal cord injury community to join in to help speed progress.

Mark the date: this year’s Symposium is October 22 and 23 in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can view the current agenda here, our speaker lineup here, and hotel info here. Then go register online here.

This article is the first of three with background and…

by Sam Maddox, SAB Director — U2FP

A clinical trial is currently underway to see if newly injured people with spinal cord injuries improve their recovery by modifying their diets. In earlier experiments, switching paralyzed animals to a high fat, low carbohydrate diet improved their recovery.

How about trying this in people too? Ceren Yarar-Fisher (pictured here), scientist at the University of Alabama Birmingham/Spain Rehabilitation Center, is doing just that; she is now recruiting 60 acute SCI trauma patients in a trial called “Ketogenic Diet to Improve Neuro-recovery.

(Note: Dr. Yarar-Fisher will be presenting her work at U2FP’s Annual…

by Sam Maddox — Scientific Advisory Board Director, U2FP

Ok, you probably heard about this or saw the video clip of the monkey playing a computer game with his brain. The headline is from Forbes.

Note the first red flag: revolutionize. This word never adds up to anything but bait. The headline is for sure overstated, but the story itself is only partly lure.

Pager, a little nine-year-old rhesus monkey, plays games on a screen, sipping on a banana smoothie as a reward. Check out the video.

First, he uses a joystick to line up a dot with squares. Then…

by Jake Beckstrom — Manager, Cure Advocacy Network

Here’s a great piece highlighting the work of our Cure Advocacy Network in Wisconsin, featuring advocate John Martinson, and including U2FP’s Matthew Rodreick and Rep. Jimmy Anderson.

by Matthew Rodreick — Executive Director, U2FP

Jason and Matthew talk with U2FP’s Scientific Advisory Board Director, Sam Maddox, about U2FP’s new Headline Patrol and how to read the news about SCI research.

Headlines and media coverage of research can often be misleading. Sam talks about his years following and covering the research. He provides a number of suggestions for what to look for, what terms are critical to understand in order to have a better grasp of what the announcement really means for those of us in the SCI community.

You can check out Sam’s compendium to this episode…

by Sam Maddox — Scientific Advisory Board Director, U2FP

Quite the cringe-inducing title, no?

This is a real headline from a tech/gadget content farm called BGR, for Boy Genius Reports. Not my mainstream but hey, made me look.

Here’s a less inflammatory press-release header for the same story: Yale scientists repair injured spinal cord using patients’ own stem cells.

Major points to know: this sub-acute clinical study is mainly based on Japanese science at Sapporo Medical University. It isn’t new, it’s at least three years old, but the publication of its results just came out: 13 patients with cervical injuries…

by Jake Beckstrom — Cure Advocacy Network Manager, U2FP

We just got some much-needed good news from Wisconsin! Governor Tony Evers has included $3M for SCI Research in his proposed budget for the next 2 years. You can read the relevant portion of his executive budget here (page 303, item 84).

Please or call Governor Tony Evers to thank him!

Our Wisconsin CAN advocates introduced a bill there 2 years ago, authored by our legislative champion, Rep. Jimmy Anderson, who also has an SCI. So far, we’ve been hard-pressed to get a hearing and move our bill forward.

That’s why…

by Jason Stoffer — Cure Advocacy Network Manager

Your voice matters. Often we talk ourselves out of speaking up because we don’t think anyone is listening, or we don’t think we have anything to say. Here’s a brief anecdote to illustrate that if you never try, you’ll never know.

In response to the Minnesota Governor’s intent to defund the MN SCI/TBI Research Program, my wife and I (who live in Montana) shared a call to action through our social media accounts. Many of our friends responded with calls and emails to Governor Walz and influential politicians.

Our long-time friend and…

by Matthew Rodreick — Executive Director, U2FP

Jason and Matthew speak with Dr. Melissa Miller and Jacqueline Roche from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program’s SCIRP (Spinal Cord Injury Research Program).

SCIRP is a $40 million per year funding program for SCI that is of specific interest because they include people with SCI in the scientific review process. We talk about the program, its funding strategies and most importantly…how much they want to hear from you!

So check out the various links below and reach out to them:

Unite 2 Fight Paralysis

Building Advocacy, Empowerment, and Unity Toward Finding Cures for Paralysis

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