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Christopher Reeve and Spinal Cord Injury. Christopher Reeve’s biography Born September 25, 1952 Actor, director, producer, writer and activist Graduated.

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Presentation on theme: "Christopher Reeve and Spinal Cord Injury. Christopher Reeve’s biography Born September 25, 1952 Actor, director, producer, writer and activist Graduated."— Presentation transcript:

1 Christopher Reeve and Spinal Cord Injury

2 Christopher Reeve’s biography Born September 25, 1952 Actor, director, producer, writer and activist Graduated from Cornell University in 1974 After that, pursued his dream of acting, studying at Juilliard under the legendary John Houseman Made his Broadway debut opposite Katharine Hepburn in A Matter of Gravity in 1976 Film credits include: "Superman" in 1978 and its subsequent sequels, "Deathtrap," "Somewhere in Time," "The Bostonians," "Street Smart," "Speechless," "Noises Off," "Above Suspicion" and the Oscar-nominated "The Remains of the Day.” Stage credits include: The Marriage of Figaro, Fifth of July, My Life, Summer and Smoke, Love Letters and The Aspern Papers

3 The “Human Face” of Spinal Cord Injuries Paralyzed in an equestrian competition in 1995 Confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Put a human face on spinal cord injury Motivated neuroscientists around the world to conquer the most complex diseases of the brain and central nervous system Autobiography, Still Me, was published by Random House in April 1998 and spent 11 weeks on the NY Times Bestseller List Audio recording of Still Me earned Reeve a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album in February 1999 In 1999, Reeve became the Chairman of the Board of the Christopher Reeve Foundation (CRF). CRF, a national, nonprofit organization, supports research to develop effective treatments and a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other central nervous system disorders. As Vice Chairman of the National Organization on Disability (N.O.D.), he worked on quality of life issues for the disabled Helped pass the 1999 Work Incentives Improvement Act, which allows people with disabilities to return to work and still receive disability benefits. Died October 10, 2004 of heart failure.

4 Spinal cord injury A spinal cord injury often causes permanent disability or loss of movement (paralysis) and sensation below the site of the injury. Paralysis of the lower half of the body is called paraplegia. Paralysis below the neck, including both arms and legs, is called quadriplegia.

5 Traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injury injuries A traumatic spinal cord injury may stem from a sudden, traumatic blow to your spine that fractures, dislocates, crushes or compresses one or more of your vertebrae. It may also result from a gunshot or knife wound that penetrates and cuts your spinal cord. Additional damage usually occurs over days or weeks because of bleeding, swelling, inflammation and fluid accumulation in and around your spinal cord. A non-traumatic spinal cord injury may be caused by arthritis, cancer, inflammation or infections, or disk degeneration of the spine.

6 Most common causes of spinal cord injuries Motor vehicle accidents Auto and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for more than 40 percent of new spinal cord injuries each year. Acts of violence As many as 15 percent of spinal cord injuries result from violent encounters, often involving gunshot and knife wounds, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Falls Spinal cord injury after age 65 is most often caused by a fall. Overall, falls cause about one-quarter of spinal cord injuries. Sports and recreation injuries Athletic activities, such as impact sports and diving in shallow water, cause about 8 percent of spinal cord injuries. Alcohol Alcohol use is a factor in about 1 out of every 4 spinal cord injuries. Diseases Cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis and inflammation of the spinal cord also can cause spinal cord injuries.

7 Effects of injury Whether the cause is traumatic or non-traumatic, the damage affects the nerve fibers passing through the injured area and may impair part or all of your corresponding muscles and nerves below the injury site. A chest (thoracic) or lower back (lumbar) injury can affect your chest, abdomen, legs, bowel and bladder control, and sexual function. A neck (cervical) injury affects movements of your arms and, possibly, your ability to breathe.

8 Changes and complications At first, changes in the way your body functions may be overwhelming. However, you can learn new skills and ways to adapt old skills to deal with the physical effects of a spinal cord injury. Possible difficulties you may encounter include: Pain Some people may experience pain, such as muscle or joint pain from overuse of particular muscle groups. Nerve pain, also known as neuropathic or central pain, can occur after a spinal cord injury, especially in someone with an incomplete injury. Respiratory system. Your injury may make it more difficult to breathe and cough if your abdominal and chest muscles are affected. These include the diaphragm and the muscles in your chest wall and abdomen. Your neurological level of injury will determine what kind of breathing problems you may have. If you have cervical and thoracic spinal cord injury you may have an increased risk of pneumonia or other lung problems.

9 Changes and complications (2) Circulatory control. A spinal cord injury may cause circulatory problems ranging from spinal shock immediately following your spinal cord injury to low blood pressure when you rise (orthostatic hypotension) to swelling of your extremities throughout your lifetime. These circulation changes may increase your risk of developing blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolus. Another problem with circulatory control is a potentially life-threatening rise in blood pressure (autonomic hyper-reflexia). Medications and therapy can treat these problems.

10 Wheelchairs A wheelchair is a wheeled mobility device in which the user sits, propelled either manually or via various automated systems. Wheelchairs are used by people for whom walking is difficult or impossible due to illness, injury, or disability. The earliest record of the wheelchair in England dates from the 1670s. A smart wheelchair uses an artificial control system which augments or replaces user control. Its purpose is to reduce or eliminate the task of driving a motorized wheelchair. Smart wheelchairs usually employ sonar, infrared sensors or laser rangefinders to detect obstacles and to ensure that the platform does not collide with them.

11 Wheelchairs (2) There are many types of wheelchairs, and they are often highly customized for the individual user's needs. Types of wheelchairs include Beach wheelchairs, Sports wheelchairs, Electric wheelchairs, and Manual wheelchairs. A mobility scooter is a motorized assist device, but with a steering 'tiller' or bar instead of the joystick found on wheelchairs. Adapting buildings and surroundings to make them more accessible to wheelchair users is one of the key campaigns of disability rights movements and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

12 Paralysis and you According to a study initiated by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, there are nearly 1 in 50 people living with paralysis -- approximately 6 million people. Same number of people as the combined populations of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C Number is nearly 33% higher than previous estimates showed. It means that we all know someone— a brother, sister, friend, neighbor, or colleague—living with paralysis.

13 Reference


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