Innovative Spinal Cord Research is Improving Lives

Steve Adubato goes on-location to Kessler Foundation’s “Transforming Care and Recovery for People with Spinal Cord Injury” event to speak with Jimmy Brown, research participant, Kessler Foundation, about the innovative research and treatments being used to help those recovering from spinal cord injuries.

11/29/2019 #2261






"We're honored to be joined by Mr. Jimmy Brown the what? Third? Fourth? Third. And who's the fourth? Jimmy Brown the fourth is my son. You're from Staten Island. You're a research participant at the Center for Spinal Stimulation at Kessler Foundation. Jimmy, great to have you with us. Thank you. First of all, the fact that you're participating tonight in this forum is a big deal. Very. Tell folks in 2004 how your life changed? In 2004, I was 24 years old. I went down the shore, and unfortunately I dove into a shallow bay and broke my neck and it changed life quite a bit. I was athletic, I played sports my whole life, I went to Saint Peter's in Jersey City, played baseball. So not being able to participate in sports and my leisure activities was quite dramatic. Your family, you got a boy and a girl? A boy and a girl. Ages? 2 and 5. Jimmy, let's do this. We talked about being a research participant, but break down for people, like, what does that mean? Like, what kind of research are we talking about at the foundation? So I've done the exoskeleton which is walking in the robot. I've done the TRT study which is... it's a... you get some testosterone gel and you put that on your shoulders every day for six months, and now I'm doing the stimulation of the spine. I actually have it on the back of my neck now. Okay, let's stay... It's not activated, but it's lined up for later. I'm sorry for interrupting Jimmy. Is that the transcutaneous? Correct. Transcutaneous stimulation. Let's get this folks. It's a non-invasive treatment, applies an electrical current to the skin overlying the spinal cord to promote voluntary muscle firing and independent movement in eng...? Well that's a little jargony, break that down. So I've done some stimulation before in the past where they basically put the stim pads right on your muscles and it automatically moves your muscles for you. This I believe goes slightly below where the stimulation is doing it for you. It's voluntarily. Right. But it's very interesting stuff. I've noticed pretty good gains. You may not see dramatic gains from the naked eye, but what I feel is something that is very hard to put in words. Listen, a 5% gain for you might not be something to the naked eye, but 5% in my lifestyle is tremendous. Yeah let's talk about that 5%. Because one of the things Jim is gonna do in the panel that I'll be moderating that he will be a part of, help us understand this. You're gonna hold a glass. Don't take it from me. You do it. What are you going to..."