Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Research to help wounded warriors

I saw a news item today about a group of swimmers ( , who will attempt to break the world record for the longest continuous relay swim, when they venture into the Sea of Cortez off Baja California Sur on June 28. The swim is a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors.

That story reminded me of reserach underway at UNC Charlotte that has a similar goal.

Dr. Laura Talbot, the Dean W. Colvard Distinguished Professor of Nursing, is conducting a Department of Defense-funded study which tests two different approaches to prosthetic rehabilitation for “wounded warriors.” Talbot has served in the military for three decades.

Traumatic amputation is one of the major injuries seen among American warriors as a result of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. An intervention that Dr. Talbot is using in her research for amputees returning from the war is a nurse managed neuromuscular electrical stimulation rehabilitation program. The objectives of her research are to test two different approaches to prosthetic rehabilitation as potential treatments for improving muscle strength, pain and function in military personnel with a below-the-knee amputation.

In such amputations, the amputated limb is less active in daily activities of standing and walking, resulting in progressive weakening of the leg muscles.

If successful, Talbot's nurse managed intervention could have an additive effect to the standard of care program with greater improvements in muscle strength. That would enhanced the performance of daily activities, quality of life, and decrease disability. This program may be very important to accelerate the rehabilitation of amputees so they can achieve functional independence and regain lost muscle strength.

UNC Charlotte is a university of collaboration and discovery, where talented people are working hard to do good. Dr. Talbot is one such 49er.

No comments:

Post a Comment