NSF grant will explore brain-prosthesis interface
The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.2 million to researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Houston for the study of how to connect prosthetic limbs with the brains of amputees. "Our goal is to ... lay the groundwork for a new generation of prosthetic devices and improve our understanding of how brain signals and neuromuscular signals are coordinated," said Helen Huang, associate professor of biomedical engineering at N.C. State and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. American City Business Journals/Raleigh/Durham, N.C.
Advanced ankle orthosis gives power boost
Yaskawa Electric has developed a robotic ankle orthosis, the ankle-assist walking device, that employs a boot and brace connected to a battery pack worn around the waist. The system, designed to help the elderly remain active, provides a small amount of boost power each time the wearer's heel hits the ground. Ubergizmo.com
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Psoriasis drug offers treatment potential for type 1 diabetes
The psoriasis drug alefacept was able to help the body produce its own insulin in a study of 49 patients with type 1 diabetes conducted by Indiana University and the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Researchers identified alefacept because it targets the same specific T cells that attack insulin-producing cells in the pancreas of type 1 diabetes patients. Medical News Today
U.K. issues polio travel warning for Israel
Echoing a similar announcement by the World Health Organization in July, Britain has warned all travelers to Israel and the West Bank to ensure their polio vaccinations are up to date. Authorities have identified the polio virus in the sewage of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israeli health authorities have vaccinated more than 240,000 children since last month; no cases of polio have been reported. The Times of Israel
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Canadian company offers designer prosthetic leg covers
A Canadian couple has designed an affordable line of high-fashion prosthetic leg covers in an effort to give amputees a way to personalize their prostheses and expect to launch a fall-winter collection from their new business, Alleles Design Studio, later this month. "I'm getting more and more people looking for different types of cosmetics [rather] than normal look-like-a-real-leg cosmetics," said Jon Allen of Alberta Artificial Limb clinic. CBC.ca (Canada)
Mobile van offers O&P services for children
A mobile clinic from Midwest Orthotic and Technology Center is providing once-a-month specialized services to Therapediatrics, in Vernon Hills, Ill. The van, staffed by a certified orthotist, offers digital scanners and other equipment to service and repair prosthetic and orthotic devices used by Therapediatrics families and patients. Lake County News-Sun (Gurnee, Ill.)
Breaking news from AOPA
The 2013 O&P World Congress was an overwhelming success! Check out the Opening Ceremony video along with our special report on the groundbreaking attendance at this prestigious event. Strike while the iron is hot and take action on the Medicare O&P Improvements Act -- send a letter to your representatives today! The FDA has released the final rule regarding unique device identifiers, and the DME MAC announces a pre-payment review for L5981. AOPA's final Coding & Billing Seminar of 2013 is coming up in Vegas--stay on top of the game and don't miss it! All of this in today’s AOPA Breaking News.
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Nov. 13: Advocacy: A Potent Weapon for Change (Telephone audio conference)
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