October 11, 2012
Returning injured war veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or amputation are finally getting the much needed help from healthcare initiatives put forth by Colonel Paul Pasquina MD., United States Army Chief, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Colonel Pasquina is one of the leaders in research for several areas of trauma including the development of advanced prosthetic devices and corresponding control systems. Specifically with the Alfred Mann Foundation (AMF), Colonel Pasquina was the Principal Investigator on a one-subject study where they used AMF’s microstimulator system to reanimate the paralyzed legs of an Army Colonel who suffered a high spinal cord injury.
Additionally, Colonel Pasquina is the Principal Investigator for AMF’s IMES study, a system that connects the human nervous system to an artificial limb, allowing the amputee to move his or her artificial limb more naturally merely by thinking about moving the limb.
A new, neural controlled prosthetic arm was used by wounded warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Bethesda, Maryland, for the first time this year.
“The hand in itself is so important in terms of one’s independence,” said Pasquina. “Your ability to dress yourself, feed yourself, do self-grooming, and hygiene is extremely important. Many of our injured service members were highly functioning, highly independent, had a great amount of responsibility. To now find themselves in a situation where they have an impairment or disability, that makes them less independent is something that not only affects them physically, but affects them emotionally.”
The Alfred Mann Foundation for Scientific Research is a medical research foundation dedicated to bringing advanced medical technologies to the public to provide significant improvements to the health, security, and quality of life for people suffering from debilitating medical conditions.