Scholarship Connoisseur Encourages Students to Apply for STEM Scholarships and Internship Opportunities Now

LinkedIn
female grad student wearing her graduate robe and holding cap in her hand

IOScholarships is the first of its kind scholarship and financial education platform for minority and underrepresented STEM students. The technology has been designed with a streamlined user-friendly interface that offers great functionality to help high school, undergraduate and graduate students find scholarships and internship opportunities. IOScholarships proprietary matching algorithm can match students with life-changing scholarships where their diverse background is valued.

“Now is the time for students to apply for college scholarships,” said María Fernanda Trochimezuk, Founder of IOScholarships. “While there are many scholarships that have qualifications like a minimum 3.5 GPA, there are just as many that have lower GPA requirements or don’t even take GPA into consideration at all.”

GPA is an important factor for getting scholarships but is not the only thing that’s important. Schools are looking for dedicated students, who contribute to their community or are involved in STEM organizations or activities. They want to see leadership and perseverance, and while these can sort of be reflected in a GPA, they mostly shine through in extracurriculars.

The majority of the scholarships featured on IOScholarships come directly from corporations and organizations, rather than solely from competitive university pools – thereby maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education. There’s plenty of money that goes unused every year, students just have to search for it.

Each month IO Scholarships adds hundreds of new curated scholarships to its database and posts “The Scholarship of the Week” on its Instagram social media accounts(@IOScholarships), making it easy to find new scholarship opportunities.

In addition to providing scholarships, the IOScholarships platform features a scholarship organizer, news articles designed to provide guidance on how to apply for scholarships, and money saving tips. The platform also offers a Career Aptitude Quiz designed to help students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills.

For more information about IOScholarships visit www.ioscholarships.com or for weekly STEM scholarships email maria.fernanda@ioscholarships.com.

How this TikTok star became an ‘accidental’ disability rights activist

LinkedIn
TikTok influencer

By Sarah Jacoby, TODAY

Mya Pol recalls being full of energy and “super rambunctious” as a child. “I would literally run laps around the house,” she told TODAY’s Sheinelle Jones.

But as she got older, Pol said she began to experience puzzling symptoms, which hit a peak in her sophomore year of college. At first, she shrugged it off as a side effect of her life as a student.

But “the weakness and fatigue continued to get worse until it reached a point where I was collapsing walking back from my classes,” she said.

Pol was diagnosed with a genetic condition, as well as a probable neurological disorder, that made it necessary for her to use a wheelchair. She soon realized how much more challenging it was for her to navigate the world. So Pol, who calls herself an “accidental activist,” decided to join TikTok to shed light on the challenges that people with disabilities encounter regularly.

With the username @immarollwith it, Pol posts joyful dance routines, answers questions about her life with a disability and shares resources for others who need mobility aids, for instance.

“I pride myself in being positive and searching for joy wherever I can,” Pol said. “And regardless of what life throws at me, I want to roll with it.”

She also shares TikTok videos that show some of the challenges she encounters as a wheelchair user, like the curbs outside of her school’s dining hall, as well as the little changes that make environments more accessible, such as the doorstop-like devices in her dorm room and campus bathroom, which people may not realize can be adjusted to make the doors close more slowly.

“A lot of them are really tight, which makes the door extremely heavy, which reduces access for people with strength issues, with pain issues, like arthritis or wheelchair users,” she explained. Pol made a post about the doorstop, showing that it has adjustable settings. She received hundreds of positive comments, including from some people who were ready to make their own spaces more accessible.

At times, Pol told TODAY, she can feel frustrated and invisible. “To know that there’s a world out there that chooses to exclude you, that chooses to not make the necessary changes to create systems that can support you, is soul-crushing,” she said. “To know that for the rest of my life, I’m going to be looking at tens of thousands of dollars extra for anything that I want, is frustrating, soul-crushing and heartbreaking — especially when I know it doesn’t have to be this way.”

Click here to read the full article on Today.

How the first disabled and woman-owned NYSE floor broker is changing Wall Street

LinkedIn
Cynthia DiBartolo (c), rings the bell during the NYSE closing auction on July 8, 2021.

By AJ Horch, CNBC

Cynthia DiBartolo’s journey to the New York Stock Exchange floor was fraught with challenges and difficulty.

In July 2021, DiBartolo’s firm, Tigress Financial Partners, became the first disabled and woman-owned floor broker to become a member of the NYSE.

Floor brokers are members of firms who execute trades on the exchange floor on behalf of the firm’s clients. They are physically present on the trading floor and are active during the New York Stock Exchange opening and closing auctions.

Tigress Financial Partners has been co-manager or selling group member on more than 620 IPO and secondary transactions with an aggregate market value of over $321 billion, including for companies such as​ Warner Music, Monday.com, and Airbnb.

In mid-2020, Wall Street banks, which are predominately run by white men, came under intense pressure to improve diversity following the Black Lives Matter protests.

Companies vowed to improve their practices via philanthropic programs, diverse hiring practices, and internships for underprivileged candidates. DiBartolo crafted a diversity questionnaire to make it easier for companies selling stock or issuing debt to find and vet minority and women-owned firms. American Airlines has already adopted the survey, and JPMorgan has begun to create a database to help automate the process.

Prior to launching Tigress Financial in 2011, DiBartolo served as a compliance director, an attorney, and as a risk management director for some of Wall Streets’ largest firms. However, her life would change in 2009 with a diagnosis of throat and neck cancer.

DiBartolo became severely disabled following life-saving surgery that compromised her ability to eat, speak and swallow. Through reconstructive surgery, DiBartolo was able to regain her ability to speak, but can only do so several hours a day.

Cancer not only took DiBartolo’s voice but also her career, as she recalled in an interview with CNBC’s Bob Pisani. “You see, there was no place for an attorney, risk management director, compliance director who couldn’t speak,” she said.

During her recovery, DiBartolo began to understand just how marginalized people in the disabled community were. “During the time I didn’t have the ability to speak, I realized how marginalized I was not just in financial services, but in society,” she said.

Inspiration from her father convinced her that she needed to act; “They took your tongue, not your brain.” her father told her. Using her experience from decades on Wall Street and tenacity DiBartolo launched the first and nation’s only disabled and woman-owned financial services firm.

Click here to read the full article on CNBC.

Looking at Environmental Protection Through the Lens of Disability

LinkedIn
Looking at Environmental Protection Through the Lens of Disability

By Alliah Czarielle, Hemophilia News Today

Climate change has been a hot topic in our circles lately. We feel it very much in the Philippines, where hot summers in the months of April and May have quickly turned into a season of strong typhoons and dangerous floods. Recently, a major typhoon hit the province of Leyte, causing a tragic landslide.

Individuals can only do so much to “save” our planet (and humanity) from the drastic effects of climate change. But we can make a difference by doing little things. We can boycott single-use plastics if we’re in a position to do so, lower our energy consumption, and deal with waste appropriately through proper separation and recycling.

Of course, having a disability factors into the equation about how much one can do to help the earth. Many people with disabilities must resort to less eco-friendly practices in order to address health issues and to thrive, although that’s not to say disabled people can’t take steps to be eco-friendly.

For instance, my husband, Jared, infuses factor products to treat his hemophilia. This procedure involves single-use plastic tubes, metal needles, and glass bottles.

According to a 2019 National Geographic article, one expert estimated that 25% of the waste generated by U.S. healthcare facilities is plastic. This is because the equipment used to treat patients needs to be sterile, and plastic serves that need well.

When my mom was ill with cancer, she needed to drink from plastic straws due to the limitations she had. And by the time she was bedridden, she needed to use disposable adult diapers.

In Japan, a country with a rapidly aging population, adult diaper waste is a growing concern, as The New York Times reported last year. Used diapers are likely to end up in incinerators, like most of the country’s waste. Compared with other types of waste, diapers require more fuel to burn, leading to costly waste management bills and high carbon emissions.

To help alleviate this problem, the Japanese town of Houki converted one of the town’s incinerators into a diaper recycling plant, which in turn produces fuel for a public bathhouse, the Times reported. This, in turn, helps to lower natural gas costs. Japan is fortunate to have the resources to come up with this creative solution.

Since there are limitations to taking steps to protect the environment when accessing or providing healthcare by people with disabilities or those who work at treatment centers, I offer the following suggestions.

If you can afford to, avoid single-use plastics.
If using single-use plastics cannot be avoided, be mindful of how often you use them and how you dispose of them. Seek out alternatives to the plastic bags you use for shopping or carrying things. At home, stock up with multiple-use, high-quality storage containers.

Leave single-use plastic products to the ones who really need them to live. This includes people with disabilities, older people, and babies, for example.

Avoid fast fashion.
I am guilty of patronizing fast fashion — which refers to the mass production of high-fashion clothing trends — because I like dressing up. My clothing budget is quite low, hence the temptation for cheap clothes from chain retailers.

According to a 2019 article by Insider’s Morgan McFall-Johnsen, the fashion industry is responsible for producing 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply, and pollutes the oceans with microplastics.

What percentage of clothing in your closet do you actually wear? Think about it, and try not to buy more than you would actually use. Instead of shopping for new clothes, why not shop at secondhand stores or learn to rework old clothing into more modern styles?

Jared’s entire collection of clothes fits into just one drawer. This makes his wardrobe easier to organize. He wears a “uniform” of plain, minimalist T-shirts with classic denim jeans or shorts. When I first met him in college, he still wore clothes from as early as sixth grade! He only updated his wardrobe when he built up muscle as an adult and needed to switch to clothing a few sizes bigger.

Jared doesn’t go out as often as I do, and bleeding episodes occasionally force him to stay at home. He also considers himself more of an indoor type. So he doesn’t think he needs many clothes.

But even if one’s lifestyle is active or outgoing, we can find some perspective from people like Jared. After all, how many clothes do we really need? As my drawers are now filled to the brim with clothes, I actively try to avoid buying new ones. Furthermore, I now support a local seamstress instead of buying from retail chains. The sewing takes time, but the outcome is often top quality and looks great. It’s also more eco-friendly, and I get to support someone’s livelihood.

Click here to read the full article on Hemophilia News Today.

How To Get Your Student Loan Forgiven if You Have a Disability

LinkedIn
Young man with disabilities working on his stock market portfolio for an employer

By Vance Cariaga, Go Banking Rates

The Biden administration recently announced that it has cancelled $7 billion in federal student loan debt for about 350,000 borrowers with disabilities through a data-sharing initiative between the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Education. If you plan to apply for forgiveness under the plan, you’ll need to follow certain steps to see if you qualify.

The first thing you need to know is that there are three ways to qualify for a total and permanent disability discharge, Forbes reported. These involve veterans, those who meet Social Security disability criteria and those with a doctor’s certification. Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Veterans: You might qualify for forgiveness if you have a service-connected disability that is 100% disabling or an individual unemployability rating qualifies you as disabled.
  2. Social Security Disability: You might qualify if you receive benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.
  3. Doctor’s certification:  You might qualify if you have certification from a medical doctor that you’re unable to take part in any “substantial gainful activity” because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death, has lasted for a continuous period of not less than 60 months or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 60 months.

To apply for student loan forgiveness, you’ll need to submit a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge application on the Federal Student Aid website and provide supporting documentation of your total and permanent disability, Forbes reported. The exceptions are if the Education Department contacts you directly based on information received from the SSA or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In this case, you don’t have to provide supporting documents.

The moratorium on federal student loan payments was recently extended until Sept. 1. Once payments resume, you won’t have to pay federal student loans while your application for student loan forgiveness is reviewed.

If you don’t qualify for student loan forgiveness due to your disability, you might still qualify for forgiveness in other ways.

Click here to read the full article on Go Banking Rates.

Psilocybin Spurs Brain Activity in Patients With Depression, Small Study Shows

LinkedIn
Person sad in their bedroom

Psychedelic compounds like LSD, Ecstasy and psilocybin mushrooms have shown significant promise in treating a range of mental health disorders, with participants in clinical studies often describing tremendous progress taming the demons of post-traumatic stress disorder, or finding unexpected calm and clarity as they face a terminal illness.

But exactly how psychedelics might therapeutically rewire the mind remains an enigma.

A group of neuroscientists in London thought advanced neuroimaging technology that peered deep into the brain might provide some answers. They included 43 people with severe depression in a study sponsored by Imperial College London, and gave them either psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, or a conventional antidepressant; the participants were not told which one they would receive. Functional magnetic resonance imaging, which captures metabolic function, took two snapshots of their brain activity — the day before receiving the first dose and then roughly three weeks after the final one.

What they found, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine, was illuminating, both figuratively and literally. Over the course of three weeks, participants who had been given the antidepressant escitalopram reported mild improvement in their symptoms, and the scans continued to suggest the stubborn, telltale signs of a mind hobbled by major depressive disorder. Neural activity was constrained within certain regions of the brain, a reflection of the rigid thought patterns that can trap those with depression in a negative feedback loop of pessimism and despair.

By contrast, the participants given psilocybin therapy reported a rapid and sustained improvement in their depression, and the scans showed flourishes of neural activity across large swaths of the brain that persisted for the three weeks. That heightened connectivity, they said, resembled the cognitive agility of a healthy brain that, for example, can toggle between a morning bout of melancholia, a stressful day at work and an evening of unencumbered revelry with friends.

Although the authors acknowledged the limitations of the study, including its small size and short time frame, they said psilocybin appeared to have a “liberating” effect on the brains of people with severe depression.

“Psilocybin, it would seem, allows you to see things in an entirely new light, particularly when you have a psychotherapist who can help guide you through that experience,” said Richard Daws, a cognitive neuroscientist and a lead author of the study. “You can unpack difficult experiences that might define how you see the world, which is interesting because that’s exactly what traditional cognitive behavioral therapy is trying to do.”

Experts not involved with the study said that the results were not entirely surprising but that they provided a possible biologic explanation for the anecdotal accounts about therapeutic breakthroughs with psychedelic medicine.

Patrick M. Fisher, a neuroscientist at the Neurobiology Research Unit in Copenhagen who studies psilocybin’s effects on the brain, said the findings could help explain why study subjects in psychedelic research often report long-term relief from psychological ailments. “One or two doses of psychedelic drugs seem to impart lasting clinical benefits and changes in personality and mood, and that’s an unusual characteristic of drugs,” he said. “Although these brain imaging data are important for resolving the brain mechanisms that support these lasting changes, this study leaves prominent questions unanswered.”

Other researchers agreed, saying the results highlighted the need for further study. Dr. Stephen Ross, associate director of the N.Y.U. Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine, who has been studying the antidepressant effects of psilocybin on cancer patients, cautioned against drawing sweeping conclusions given the relatively brief monitoring period of participants’ brain activity. “It’s a little bit like looking out into the universe with a telescope and seeing interesting things and then starting to build theories based on that,” he said. “This is an important contribution though I’m more interested in what happens in three months or six months.”

A separate, smaller experiment that was included in the Nature Medicine paper appeared to support the notion that psilocybin therapy could provide enduring benefits. In that trial, 16 patients were recruited with the knowledge that they would receive psilocybin for their treatment-resistant depression. Brain scans taken a day after the final doses were administered showed similar results to the other study. And when the researchers followed up six months later, many participants reported that the improvements to their depression had not subsided.

“These results are very promising, but obviously no one should go out and try and procure psychedelics without speaking to a doctor or a therapist,” Dr. Daws said.

The field of psychedelic medicine is still in its infancy following a decades-long gap in research, a direct result of antidrug policies that prevented most scientists in the United States from investigating mind-altering compounds. But as the stigma has faded and research funding has begun to flow more freely, a growing number of scientists have begun exploring whether such drugs can help patients suffering from a wide range of mental health conditions, including anorexia, substance abuse and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Along with psilocybin, MDMA, popularly known as Ecstasy, has been especially promising. A study last May in Nature Medicine found that the drug paired with talk therapy could significantly lessen or even eliminate symptoms of PTSD. Phase 3 clinical trials are now underway, and some experts believe the Food and Drug Administration could approve MDMA therapy for PTSD as soon as next year.

Depression remains one of most common and intractable mental health challenges in the United States, with an estimated 21 million adults reporting a major depressive episode in 2020, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Although Prozac and other antidepressants known as S.S.R.I.s have been effective for many, they have significant side effects and the drugs do not work for everyone.

Click here to read the full article on the New York Times.

Recognizing Learning Disabilities

LinkedIn
student with learning disability in classroom

As seen in DIVERSEability Magazine

Many children have trouble reading, writing or performing other learning-related tasks at some point. This does not mean they have learning disabilities.

A child with a learning disability often has several related signs, and they don’t go away or get better over time. The signs of learning disabilities vary from person to person.

Please note that the generally common signs included here are for informational purposes only; the information is not intended to screen for learning disabilities in general or for a specific type of learning disability.

Common signs that a person may have learning disabilities include the following:

  • Problems reading and/or writing
  • Problems with math
  • Poor memory
  • Problems paying attention
  • Trouble following directions
  • Clumsiness
  • Trouble telling time
  • Problems staying organized

A child with a learning disability also may have one or more of the following:

  • Acting without really thinking about possible outcomes (impulsiveness)
  • “Acting out” in school or social situations
  • Difficulty staying focused; being easily distracted
  • Difficulty saying a word correctly out loud or expressing thoughts
  • Problems with school performance from week to week or day to day
  • Speaking like a younger child; using short, simple phrases; or leaving out words in sentences
  • Having a hard time listening
  • Problems dealing with changes in schedule or situations
  • Problems understanding words or concepts

These signs alone are not enough to determine that a person has a learning disability. Only a professional can diagnose a learning disability.

Each learning disability has its own signs. A person with a particular disability may not have all of the signs of that disability.

Children being taught in a second language may show signs of learning problems or a learning disability. The learning disability assessment must take into account whether a student is bilingual or a second language learner. In addition, for English-speaking children, the assessment should be sensitive to differences that may be due to dialect, a form of a language that is specific to a region or group.

Below are some common learning disabilities and the signs associated with them:

Dyslexia

People with dyslexia usually have trouble making the connection between letters and sounds and with spelling and recognizing words.

People with dyslexia often show other signs of the condition. These may include:

  • Having a hard time understanding what others are saying
  • Difficulty organizing written and spoken language
  • Delay in being able to speak
  • Difficulty expressing thoughts or feelings
  • Difficulty learning new words (vocabulary), either while reading or hearing
  • Trouble learning foreign languages
  • Difficulty learning songs and rhymes
  • Slow rate of reading, both silently and out loud
  • Giving up on longer reading tasks
  • Difficulty understanding questions and following directions
  • Poor spelling
  • Problems remembering numbers in sequence (for example, telephone numbers and addresses)
  • Trouble telling left from right

Dysgraphia

A child who has trouble writing or has very poor handwriting and does not outgrow it may have dysgraphia. This disorder may cause a child to be tense and twist awkwardly when holding a pen or pencil.

Other signs of this condition may include:

  • A strong dislike of writing and/or drawing
  • Problems with grammar
  • Trouble writing down ideas
  • Losing energy or interest as soon as they start writing
  • Trouble writing down thoughts in a logical sequence
  • Saying words out loud while writing
  • Leaving words unfinished or omitting them when writing sentences

Dyscalculia

Signs of this disability include problems understanding basic arithmetic concepts, such as fractions, number lines, and positive and negative numbers.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty with math-related word problems
  • Trouble making change in cash transactions
  • Messiness in putting math problems on paper
  • Trouble with logical sequences (for example, steps in math problems)
  • Trouble understanding the time sequence of events
  • Trouble describing math processes

To find out more about learning disabilities and what you can do to combat these issues, visit nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/learningdisabilities.

 

Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Mental health can be impacted by daylight exposure, researchers say

LinkedIn
Electric Time technician Dan LaMoore lights up a two-dial Howard Post Clock, March 9, 2021, in Medfield, Mass. Clocks are set ahead an hour during daylight saving time. (Elise Amendola, Associated Press)

By Jacob Rueda, KSL NewsRadio

Daylight saving time in the summer means a maximum of 15 hours of daily sunlight in Utah, with the sun setting around 9 p.m. If the federally backed Sunshine Protection Act becomes law, people can expect those late sunsets even in the winter.

Late sunsets in the winter also mean even later sunrises if daylight saving time becomes permanent.

“A sunrise on Christmas day will be 8:50 in the morning and the sunset will be 6:05 at night,” KSL Meteorologist Kevin Eubank told Dave and Dujanovic on KSL NewsRadio on Tuesday “Where you’re really going to see this impact is going to be in the morning hours during the months of November, December, January (and) February.”

Daylight saving time in the summer means a maximum of 15 hours of daily sunlight in Utah, with the sun setting around 9 p.m. If the federally backed Sunshine Protection Act becomes law, people can expect those late sunsets even in the winter.

Late sunsets in the winter also mean even later sunrises if daylight saving time becomes permanent.

“A sunrise on Christmas day will be 8:50 in the morning and the sunset will be 6:05 at night,” KSL Meteorologist Kevin Eubank told Dave and Dujanovic on KSL NewsRadio on Tuesday “Where you’re really going to see this impact is going to be in the morning hours during the months of November, December, January (and) February.”

Click here to read the full article on KLS NewsRadio.

Schools turn to dogs to help ease Michigan’s student mental health crisis

LinkedIn
dogs from michigan school help with student mental health crisis

By Koby Levin,  Detroit Freep

There are many ways to address a youth mental health crisis, including throwing a massive birthday party for a dog named Gravy.

A sweet-natured chocolate Lab, Gravy quickly became a celebrity to students at Grand Ledge High School after she started working there as a therapy dog in September. She showed off tricks in the hallways with her handler, Dean of Students Maria Capra. When students knelt to pet Gravy, she crawled onto their laps.

So when students learned that Gravy’s first birthday fell just before Thanksgiving break, they asked Capra whether they could throw a party.

She said sure, thinking it wouldn’t amount to much. Then the student council put up posters around the school, inviting all of the school’s 1,600 students to attend. Students made a crown and a skirt for Gravy, while others set up a donation drive for the local animal shelter in her honor.

On the big day, “I really didn’t know what to expect,” Capra recalled. “I thought it might be a classroom of 30 kids.

“There were several hundred students in this gymnasium.”

The pandemic has been hard on students in Grand Ledge and across the U.S. Many young people experienced isolation, disruption and the loss of loved ones, leading to an alarming rise in suicide rates and prompting the American Academy of Pediatrics to declare a national emergency in children’s mental health.

Schools have responded by hiring social workers, expanding their social-emotional learning curricula and, in some cases, purchasing dogs.

Gravy is one of at least a dozen dogs who have been introduced to students during the pandemic in schools across Michigan.

Districts are buying dogs and covering the costs of their training with their share of Michigan’s $6 billion in federal COVID-19 funds for education.

One reason: The dogs make kids happy.

“He’s kind of like a rock star; when the kids see him coming, they smile,” said Traci Souva, an art teacher at North Huron Schools who handles Chipper, the district’s new golden mountain doodle. “A lot of times the kids will tell Chipper what’s wrong rather than adults, and that’s pretty magical.”

Another reason: The dogs appeal to administrators wary of using one-time federal funds to incur recurring costs like hiring new people.

“We wanted to ensure that we were using the funds in a way that was going to make a lasting impact,” said Bill Barnes, assistant superintendent for Academic Services at Grand Ledge Public Schools.

And one more: Research suggests that the presence of a trained dog lowers children’s stress, fosters a positive attitude toward learning, and smooths interactions between students and other children.

Click here to read the full article on Detroit Freep.

18 Celebrities Who Have Opened Up About Raising a Kid With a Disability

LinkedIn
Denise Richards, Holly Robinson Peete - both celebrities with kids who have a disability - standing in dresses in front of an orange background

By Kristyn Burtt, SheKnows

What’s been amazing in the age of social media is how open some celebrities are about their personal lives. It’s obviously a choice to let fans in, but many stars are helping to bring to awareness for good causes by talking about their families and some of the struggles they may face. When Hollywood opens up about raising celebrity kids with disabilities, they can bring more money to research and help de-stigmatize what it means to deal with these challenges.

Sylvester Stallone was one of the first major Hollywood actors to go on record to talk about his son, Seargeoh Stallone. He didn’t shy away from the news and filmed a PSA in 1990 where he declared, “Imagine your child has autism, mine does.” In 2021, that doesn’t seem like breaking news, but 31 years ago, it was a big deal.

Stallone helped pave the way for former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Denise Richards to share her journey with adopted daughter Eloise, who turns 10 on May 25. Eloise has a chromosomal disorder, which has led to developmental delays, but that hasn’t stopped Richards from seeking the best treatment possible for her younger daughter. “Every child is different,” she told People in 2020. “You take care of your children no matter what is going on with them.”

Her words of inspiration help other parents (famous or not) keep on going on those tough days because everyone wants the best life for their child. Find out which stars have shared their family’s story about raising a child with a disability — some of the names might surprise you!

Click here to read the full article on SheKnows.

New spinal cord stimulation study puts people with paralysis on their feet again

LinkedIn
man with a possible spinal cord injury is using his electric wheelchair to roll down a flight of stairs in a suit

Michel Roccati lost the ability to walk after a motorcycle accident in 2017, when he had a complete spinal cord injury. But today, equipped with an electrode device implanted on his spinal cord, Roccati can enjoy the simple things again: standing at a bar for drinks with friends, taking a shower without a chair and even strolling through the town with a walker.

“I am free,” said Roccati, who is from Italy. “I can walk wherever I want to.”
Roccati was one of three men between the ages of 29 and 41 to participate in the STIMO clinical trial, led by Dr. Jocelyne Bloch from Lausanne University Hospital and Grégoire Courtine of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. The results of the study were published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine.
The participants had 16-electrode devices implanted in the epidural space, an area between the vertebrae and the spinal cord membrane. The electrodes receive currents from a pacemaker implanted under the skin of the abdomen.

All the patients in the trial had a complete loss of voluntary movement below their injuries. Two also had a complete loss of sensation. But with the devices in place, the researchers could use a tablet computer to initiate unique sequences of electrical pulses, sent to the epidural electrodes via the pacemaker, to activate the participants’ muscles.

Other studies have anecdotally seen movement soon after surgery to implant similar devices, but this is the first study to report that all participants independently could take steps on a treadmill just a day after surgery, the researchers say.

“It’s a very emotional moment, because [patients] realize they can step,” Bloch said.

Researchers have been looking into electrical stimulation to the spinal cord for three decades. This study redesigned technology originally used to alleviate pain to target spinal nerve roots.

Previous studies out of the University of Louisville have shown that people who were completely paralyzed but still had sensation could walk again with several months of rehabilitation through electrical stimulation to the spinal cord. The STIMO trial found that within a week of their surgeries, all three participants could walk independently with the use of body-weight support from parallel bars and an overhead harness.

“For the first time, we have not only immediate effect — though training is still important — but also individuals with no sensation, no movement whatsoever, have been able to regain full standing and walking independently of the laboratory,” Courtine told CNN.

Dr. Nandan Lad, a neurosurgeon at Duke University, said this “very exciting work gives a new treatment option for tens of thousands of patients that have spinal cord injury and don’t really have other options.” Lad is leading a clinical trial in this area of research in the US and was not involved in the new study.
The Swiss team has been able to observe immediate results through important changes in the structure and implantation of their electrode device. The electrode array used in the STIMO trial, made by Onward Medical, is wider and longer than the array most commonly used in similar studies. According to Bloch, this new electrode array allows access to a broader area of the spinal cord to stimulate both trunk and leg muscles.

The investigators developed an algorithm to optimally place the electrode array, running tests during the surgery to measure muscle activity after delivering pulses. The precise neurosurgical placement of the electrodes is key to the study’s ability to stimulate the necessary muscle groups in the legs so quickly, Lad said.

The STIMO trial also introduces a new method for initiating and sustaining movement. To begin stimulation, previous studies have relied on participants’ intent to move and the brain signals that follow. In the new study, a timed sequence of stimulations is generated using motor responses to different jolts of electricity. These pre-established sequences trigger movement and attempt to mimic the natural pattern of muscle activation needed to walk.

Susan Harkema, a professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery who led the Louisville studies, said it’s encouraging to know that two types of stimulation can generate movement patterns through human spinal circuitry, indicating that some function is retained, even with complete injuries.
“But I don’t think we have enough evidence yet to know the best way to stimulate for the best outcomes,” Harkema told CNN.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

Air Force Civilian Service

Air Force Civilian Service

American Family Insurance

American Family Insurance

United States Postal Services-Diversity

United States Postal Services-Diversity

Alight

Alight Solutions Logo

Leidos

Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. 2022 Academic Careers Workshop Apply Today!
    June 9, 2022 - June 12, 2022
  4. From Day One
    June 14, 2022
  5. From Day One
    June 22, 2022

Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. 2022 Academic Careers Workshop Apply Today!
    June 9, 2022 - June 12, 2022
  4. From Day One
    June 14, 2022
  5. From Day One
    June 22, 2022