e d g e - education for disability and gender equity

Biology
CONTENTS

GENETIC DISORDERS
1 Intro
2 Single gene disorders
3 Additional chromosomes
   
4 Activity
 
5 Resources
   
SPINAL CORD INJURY
1 Intro
2 Spinal cord and vertebrae
3

Effects of SCI

   
4 Activity
   
5 Resources

SPINAL CORD INJURY

1. Introduction

Diagram of spinal cord  - copyright NovartisThe spinal cord carries messages to and from the brain. Our bodies know how to move and what things feel like (including temperature and pain) because of this connection. Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function such as mobility or feeling.

Frequent causes of damage are trauma (car accident, gunshot, falls, etc.) or disease (polio, spina bifida, Friedreich's Ataxia, etc.).

The spinal cord does not have to be severed completely in order for a loss of functioning to occur. In fact, in most people with SCI, the spinal cord is intact, but the damage to it results in loss of functioning. SCI is very different from back injuries such as ruptured disks, spinal stenosis or pinched nerves.

Detail of vertebra - the spinal cord is surrounded by the vertebrae. Their are discs between each vertebrae A person can "break their back or neck" yet not sustain a spinal cord injury if only the bones around the spinal cord (the vertebrae) are damaged, but the spinal cord is not affected. In these situations, the individual may not experience paralysis after the bones are stabilized.

Profiles of people with:
Spinal Cord Injuries

(next section - 2. Spinal Cord & Vertebrae)


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