PVA Summit: Day One

DARPA Program Manager Justin C. Sanchez, PhD, presents the plenary session Revolutionizing Prosthetics: Restoring Near-Natural Movement After Injury, Aug. 26, during the PVA Summit + Expo 2014. Photo Devon O'Brien.

The 2014 Paralyzed Veterans of America Summit + Expo kicks off with mind-boggling technology, award winners and a big announcement

Day one of the 2014 Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Summit 2014 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino had a packed schedule starting with in announcement at the opening remarks.

As Barry Goldstein’s time as Veterans Health Administration National SCI Chief Consultant comes to an end, Sophia Chun, MD will take his place.  The transition is sure to include a few changes, check back with PN and PN Online for further details after the Summit.

The day’s plenary session had attendees in awe, as information and videos on brain machine interfaces were presented. Program Manager at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Justin C. Sanchez, PhD showed off the technology recently approved by the FDA that allows patients with amputations or spinal-cord injuries (SCI) to control a robotic arm using only the movement of their feet or their brains. Get the full story in the September issue of PN.

Other sessions of the day included a full run-down and demonstration of electrical stimulation that can work as a nerve prosthetic or therapy method to help patients with SCI or stroke regain function. The specific electrodes featured work on the muscular level via the peripheral nerve system and can give function to help with use of arms, hand grasp, trunk control and even standing.


A session on complementary and alternative medicine explored different options for treatment of multiple sclerosis including medical marijuana, ginkgo biloba, magnetic therapy, essential fatty acids, diet and yoga. Heidi Maloni, PhD, ANP-BC, CNRN, MSCN, and Vijayshree Yadav, MD, brought attention to the fact that these treatment options need to be further researched to be able to recommend to patients in the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System.


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