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Improving the lives of people with spinal cord injuries

We awarded £65,000 to the INSPIRE Foundation to fund research which aims to improve the quality of life and independence of those living with spinal cord injuries.

While the inability to walk is often considered the most challenging consequence of spinal cord injury, the loss of control of bladder and bowel is often the most difficult to manage, and can have a persistent and detrimental effect on health, welfare and quality of life.

The NEUROMOD Project

Restoration of bladder and bowel function is a top priority for patients who have experienced a life changing spinal cord injury. The Neuromod Project aims to develop wearable stimulation devices to control bladder and bowel as an alternative to pharmaceutical therapies.

Pelvic functions are controlled by complex interactions between the voluntary and involuntary nervous systems. Following a spinal cord injury, these pathways are disrupted leading to un-inhibited reflex activity which causes incontinence. Neuromodulation (electrical stimulation of neural pathways) of the sacral nerves can be effective at inhibiting these unwanted reflexes.

If successful, this project could reduce or even eliminate the need for pharmaceutical therapies.

The project will be led by research scientist Sean Doherty who broke his neck in a mountain bike accident in 2008.

Following my injury, I was just keen to get on with what I had been doing before it happened. I wanted to be an inventor when I was young; all inventors are trying to solve problems. I think having my injury has directed that ambition towards problems I have seen since.

Impact

Throughout the UK, there are around 40,000 people living with a spinal cord injury. It is hoped that this project will have a huge impact on the lives of those affected; restoring confidence and independence and improving the quality life of both patients and their friends and family.

 

 

Our Impact

Hospice of the Good Shepherd

Bereavement Help Points in Cheshire This grant is helping the Hospice of the Good Shepherd to establish informal drop-in sessions in communities across Cheshire. These Bereavement Help Points offer a wide range of assistance; including emotional peer support, advice from trained volunteers, and printed resources to take away. They began work on the project in…

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St Elizabeth Hospice

This grant helped St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich to work with primary and secondary schools to improve support for pupils following bereavement. By giving teachers the skills to respond to their pupils’ grief early on, the project aims to prevent long-term difficulties in emotional well-being. Bereavement training for schools In September 2019 the Emotional Wellbeing…

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Bolton Hospice

Specialist training for local teachers The grant allowed the Bolton Hospice education team to develop specialist training for local teachers to support teenagers going through a bereavement. The training will help to improve the experience of teenagers dealing with loss, grief and bereavement, providing school staff with the knowledge and skills they need to support…

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Dogs for Good

Studies show that dogs have a profoundly positive effect on children with autism and can help the child to develop skills that increase independence and quality of life. The PAWS (Parents Autism Workshops and Support) project help parents of children with autism find (if they don’t already have a dog) and train a dog to…

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