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November 8, 2002     Cape Gazette
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November 8, 2002

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CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, Nov. 8 - Nov. 14, 2002 - 55 UD receives $3.1 million NIH grant to fund stroke research The University of Delaware's Center for Biomedical Engineer- ing Research has received a five- year, $3.1 million biomedical re- search partnership award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help stroke patients re- gain their ability to walk. This is the second major NIH grant the center has received this year. The center announced in April that it earned an NIH $6.4 minion grant for research on osteoarthri- tis. The new grant allows re- searchers in the center to help stroke patients who suffer from central nervous system dysfunc- tion learn to walk again through a combination of electrical stimula- tion of their muscles and a rehabilitation robot, said Thomas S. Buchanan, University of Delaware (UD) professor of BUCHANAN mechanical en- gineering and director of the project. "In our protocol, muscles will be electrically stimulated in an impaired leg to activate them and move the limb, bypassing the nor- mal commands from the brain that are not working properly in patients with strokes," Buchanan said. "The robot will help move the impaired leg to train a patient how to walk again following the stroke." Within a decade, Buchanan said the research team hopes to develop a portable functional electrical stimulation device, within a decade, that can patients can wear to assist in producing coordinated leg movements. The multidisciplinary project will involve faculty members from the departments of mechani- cal engineering and physical ther- apy. The scientists will work togeth- er through the Center for Biomed- ical Engineering Research. Buchanan is the principal investi- gator and will build muscu- loskeletal models of the leg. Kurt Maria/, associate scientist in me- chanical engineering, will work with Buchanan on the models. Stuart Binder-Macleod, coprin- cipai investigator and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. will supervise the functional elec- tronic stimulation (FES) portion of the project. Jun Ding, a physical therapy re- searcher, will work with Binder- Macleod on the FES protocols. Sunil Agrawal, professor of me- chanical engineering, will super- vise the robot's construction. The project team also includes John Scholz, associate professor of physical therapy and an expert on stroke and neurological in- juries, and Katherine Rudolph, assistant professor of physical therapy and an expert on human gait analysis. Buchanan said the project has three major components, the first of which is to identify impair- ments in the locomotor patterns of patients through biomechani- cal modeling using gait analysis and electromyographic data. The second is to develop meth- ods and equipment to optimize stroke patients' locomotion, using the electrical stimulus and the ro- boric device. The final component is to test the feasibility of the new system and make adjustments based on patient trials. The 10-year goal is developing a portable device that patients can wear to assist them in walking. MDA offers communicati{00n systems for patients who need h{:lp The Muscular Dystrophy Asso- ciation (MDA) recently an- nounced it will help pay for com- munications technology for peo- ple whose neuromuscular disor- dershave robbed them of the abil- ity to speak. MDA President and CEO Robert Ross said the new cover- age in MDA's services program was added because "communica- tion is so essential to quality of HIV/STD Family Planning Conference set for Nov. 22 The Delaware HIV Consortium will host the 15th annual HIV/STD/Family Planning Con- ference from 9 a.m. to 4 p .m., Friday, Nov. 22, at the Dover Downs Sheraton. The conference provides an opportunity to gain a deeper perspective of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and to learn new strategies to prevent and treat the disease. Delaware continues to rank among the top states in the nation for AIDS rate in the state's population. The conference typi- cally draws more than 250 partic- ipants, including health care pro- fessionals, HIV/AIDS service providers and other interested community members. The theme of this year's confer- ence is Meeting the Needs of Lo- ca/Communities in a Global Epi- demic. The keynote speaker is Dr. William Ruby, currently the medical director of the Moore Clinic and director of Correction- al Services at Johns Hopkins Uni- versity School of Medicine. He is a national expert on the treatment of HIV/AIDS in prison settings. Workshops on HIV/AIDS treat- ment and prevention issues will include Erica Aaron, Women and HIV; Edith Springer, Harm Re- duction; Jane Norman, Youth Pre- vention; and Dr. Judith Lighffoot, Outreach to Minorities. Dr. Mar- sha Martin, executive director of AIDS Action in Washington, D.C., will address the topic of na- tional challenges as the confer- Continued on page 56 30 minute Fitness & Weight Loss SPONSORS COAT DRIVE FOR CASA SAN FRANCISCO 11/1/02 - 11/15/02 Donate any unwanted coat for the needy & receive your first month FREE* Mon. - Fri. 7am-8pm Sat. 7am-lpm Five Points Plaza next to Comcast 302-644-7292 *Based on 12 month membership EFT program. life. Now, there's a large array of technological devices that enable people to continue communicat- ing even when neuromuscular dis- ease has severely limited their vo- cal abilities. We're pleased that we can help those we serve obtain this vital equipment," Ross said. MDA will allow up to $2,000 for the one-time purchase of a communication device such as a speech generator or speech syn- thesizer. These aids, known as alterna- tive and augmentative communi- cation devices, must be prescribed by MDA clinic physicians. Their purchase is covered by Medicare and by some private insurance policies, and MDA will assist with costs not covered by these programs. The assistance is expected pri- marily to benefit people affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), Friedre- ich's ataxia, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy and other dis- orders in which muscle weakness extends to the tongue and other muscles involved in speech. Those who receive MDA assis- tance with speech devices are asked to return them to the associ- ation when they're no longer be- ing used: They'll then be added to MDA's loan closet program. MDA also assists those it serves with the purchase and repair of wheelchairs and leg braces. For details, call 301-486-7680. A FREE Health Seminar from Beebe Medical Center Understanding Your Cholesterol More than 100 million American adults have a total blood cholesterol that is considered borderline or high risk for coronary heart disease. Most people know that low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is bad for their health, but they should also be aware that there are many steps they can take to improve their levels.Join Beebe-affiliated cardiologist Dr. Pravin Gohel as he explains why you should take your cholesterol level seriously and changes you can make to improve your health and decrease your risks for heart disease. Thursday, November 21, 2002 Speakers: Dr. Pravin Gohel Location: Gun House Time: 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. This is a free seminar. Please call 645-3337 to register, or register otlne at www.beebemedorg and click onto the Focus on Health web banner. Dr. Pravin Gohel, Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases B Beebe Medical Center 424 Savannah Road Lewes, DE