On Our Minds


April 10, 2017 – Bowel and Bladder management problems are often described as the most difficult and persistent challenges after SCI. In March, the Neilsen Foundation brought together experts in research, clinical care, industry, funding, and regulatory issues to identify promising approaches which may solve some of these challenges.

Participants shared compelling descriptions of issues faced by physicians and consumers, currently available tools, knowledge and treatments. Using this information as a basis, emerging opportunities were identified for areas where significant inroads could be accomplished within 10 years. In summary, five thematic areas were identified:

  1. Leverage current and emerging technologies in the areas of Neuromodulation and Drug Repurposing.
  2. Update and disseminate Clinical Practice Guidelines for consumers and clinicians.
  3. Build knowledge in Bowel Physiology to improve diagnoses and target treatments.
  4. Restore Sensation/Feedback to provide patient awareness, diagnosis, and closed-loop technology.
  5. Identify and quantify the effect of Rehabilitation/Activity/Exercise on bowel, bladder and sexual function, including early interventions.

The next big question is where do we go from here?

A group of key stakeholders are preparing to summarize the workshop by developing a publication to reach the larger SCI community. This white paper can serve to promote a clear framework to achieve improved bowel and bladder management for people with SCI by 2027.


Funder With a Niche Focus on Spinal Cord Injuries Packs a Surprisingly Big Punch

May 8, 2017
Inside Philanthropy

BOSTON, MA (Inside Philanthropy) — Charitable organizations are often founded in a beloved individual’s name and dedicated to a particular health condition. What’s less common is one with the level of endowment and annual giving of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, a private foundation devoted to helping people with spinal cord injuries. 

nTIDE March 2017 Jobs Report: Americans With Disabilities Reach Milestone With Full Year of Job Gains

April 7, 2017

EAST HANOVER, NJ (Marketwired) — Americans with disabilities continue to outpace their counterparts with disabilities, achieving a full year of job gains, according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). 

Social Music Network Helps Disabled

March 24, 2017
The Daily Gazette

TROY, NY (The Daily Gazette) — The intersection of technology and art can lead to some incredibly beautiful things, bringing people together in dynamic ways. But the power to create a social music network for disabled musicians, or those hoping to become one, is something new entirely, and in the works here locally. 

New Mobile App Promotes Fitness for People with Spinal Cord Injury

March 16, 2017
Shepherd Center

ATLANTA, GA (Shepherd Center) — Shepherd Center, in collaboration with MobileSmith, has developed a mobile app called SCI-Ex to promote fitness for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The app, which is available for both Apple and Android devices, provides video demonstrations with detailed descriptions of proper equipment use, accurate transfer methods and adaptive exercise techniques. 

Brain-Computer Interface Advance Allows Fast, Accurate Typing by People with Paralysis

February 21, 2017

STANFORD, CA (EurekAlert!) — Brain-computer interface advance allows fast, accurate typing by people with paralysis in Stanford-led study. A clinical research publication led by Stanford University investigators has demonstrated that a brain-to-computer hookup can enable people with paralysis to type via direct brain control at the highest speeds and accuracy levels reported to date.

The Pieces That Power CAF’s Athlete Grants | The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

February 11, 2017
Challenged Athletes Foundation

SAN DIEGO, CA (Challenged Athletes Foundation) — Everyone is invincible when they’re young. At 21 years old, 6 feet tall, and 185 pounds, my ego and athleticism were larger than life. I dove headfirst into the final water obstacle during a mud race at the behest of the race announcer and immediately broke my neck.

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