February/March 2017   

Throw on your best mask and come out to celebrate NYCSCIA's 13th annual Mardi Gras Fundraiser event where they will be honoring James Cesario for the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year award! Click on the link below to purchase your tickets.
Mardi Gras Tickets
Adaptive Clothing Shakes Up The World
Fashion is A $1.2 trillion global industry, with more than $250 billion spent annually on fashion in the United States, but to date very little of that money has focused on the needs of people with disabilities. While several small companies have attempted to address those needs, few have been successful, and mainstream designs aimed at consumers with disabilities are few and far between.
But if the scene on the Los Angeles runway, along with some other positive developments are any sign, the major players in the fashion industry may finally be stepping up to give the world's most underserved population some new and exciting fashion options.
To read this full article that's featured in New Mobility for this month, click on the link below.
New Mobility
Let's Fly!
The Life Challenge Group spent a day up in Yonkers at iFly experiencing what it would be like to skydive without jumping out of a plane. Everyone flew with flying colors. I want to thank Paul Grassi ( GM of iFly) and his whole staff for making our experience at iFly a memorable one. Be on the lookout for this event to happen again sometime in the near future!
From Injury To Intimacy
SCI Sexuality Conference for Medical Professionals
This spinal cord injury sexuality conference will enrich the awareness of healthcare professionals regarding sexuality after SCI and increase their comfort and skill in talking to patients with SCI about sex beyond the basics of fertility and erection aids. 
Who Should Attend: Physicians, Fellows Residents, Medical, Students, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapist, Rehabilitation psychologists, Social Workers and Nurses.
For more information and to sign up for this conference, click on the link below.
Sign Up
Getting To Know Neuropathic Pain
What is Neuropathic Pain?
Central pain syndrome, sometimes called neuropathic pain, is caused by dysfuction of the nervous system, which includes the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord. The disorder is most often caused by strokes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, brain injuries and brain tumors, and spinal cord injuries. It may occur soon after damage to the CNS or months or years later.
This type of pain is characterized by a number of different painful sensations but most often is felt as a constant burning sensation that can be amplified by light touch. it can also increase with temperature changes, most commonly brought on by cold temperatures. The pain can be mixed with a loss of sensation, such as numbness or tingling, and is most prominently felt in the hands and feet, especially the lower extremities. Occasionally, It can be experienced as brief, repetitive, intolerable burst of sharp, "electrical" pain.
Pain medications provide at best partial relief. However, those medications that have been found to be most effective are anticonvulsants (antiepileptics), and antidepressants, or combinations of different medications.
New Motion has a great article in this months issue that tell different peoples experience with neuropathic pain and how they manage it. Click on the New Mobility link below to read the full article.
New Mobility
SCI Meditation Group
Friday, March 31st
Here are five thing that meditation can help with for a better quality of life.
  1. Reduces stress - One of the benefits of meditation is stress reduction. Meditating in quite contemplation can help you relax, find peace of mind and ease tension so that you can control and manage your stress levels. Stress causes your heart and blood pressure to go up and too much of that can create health issues. Meditating for a few minutes every day helps you to let go of stress to achieve a relaxed state of mind.
  2. Encourage a healthy lifestyle - Studies have shown that meditating increases your immune system. Meditation causes you to relax, which increases a compound called nitric oxide that dilates your blood vessels and causes your blood pressure to drop. A lower blood pressure improves your cardiovascular and immune health, as well as helps you to have a better nights sleep.
  3. Improves concentration - Not only does meditation help with your overall health and psychological well-being, it improves functioning of the brain by increasing memory. Research has shown that people who meditate have more gray matter in their brain in areas related to memory and thought. Furthermore, meditation improves focus and attention. When you meditate, you bring your full attention to an object, idea or activity, which helps you practice concentration. Individuals who meditate have an easier time eliminating negative thoughts and break down information. By practicing meditation, you are essentially gaining cognitive and problem solving skills.
  4. Increases happiness - Studies have shown that meditation reduces negative emotions and thus, relieves anxiety and depression. During meditation, brain signals increases on the left side of the prefrontal cortex, which regulates positive emotions. Likewise, studies show that signaling decreased on the right side of the brain, which is responsible for negative emotions. Moreover, meditation gives you a sense of self-awareness that helps you to take a step back so that you can look at stressful or upsetting situations and gain clarity. It helps you to focus on the present and achieve a greater capacity for relaxation so that you can tackle problems in a calm manner.
  5. Boosts your social life - Meditation also helps you feel more connected, and reduces loneliness. Research has also shown that meditation improves empathy and compassion and increases creativity.
Researchers Looking For Volunteers
Ajax Yang, MD. is conducting research evaluating the potential of Botox injection underneath the skin to provide pain relief in persons with SCI's that have nerve pain near the level of injury in the spine. Injection of Botox just under the skin have been shown to decrease nerve pain in other individuals and have been reported to help people with spinal cord injury related pain. It is important to know that you may not get any benefit from participating in this research. However, possible benefits are temporary decrease in your back pain following the procedure for about 3 months or longer. 

If you would like to learn more about this study or have any questions, please contact Ajax Yang, MD. at 857-222-2264 or

Researchers at the Bronx VA are conducting a research project investigating the degree of cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction in people with SCI. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the part of the nervous system that controls many bodily functions that you don't think about, such as your heart rate, breathing rate, sweating, and blood pressure. ANS function will be examined through a series of simple clinical tests. Participation will last about 2 weeks and require 2 two-hour visits to Mount Sinai. For each visit, participants will receive $50 for a total compensation of $100 for the study. Those that are interested can contact  Matthew Maher at 718-584-9000 ext 1732 or
Recipe For The Month
Restaurant Style Artichoke & Spinach Dip
  • 4 Cloves garlic
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo-style pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place garlic with the skin still on in a small baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat. When cooled enough to touch, squeeze softened garlic from skin.
  3. In an 8x8 inch backing dish, mix the roasted garlic,spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and cream cheese.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cheeses are melted and bubbly. Serve warm and enjoy.
Upcoming Life Challenge Events
For info or to reserve a spot, contact Woody Wood
Click on the links below if you would like to follow our Facebook and Twitter page or learn more about the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Mount Sinai.

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90SI5017).  NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

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