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To fund research which will lead to a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury.

To encourage and support the spinal cord injured.

About 100,000 spinal cord injured persons live in Japan today, and annually this number increases by about 5.000. Unfortunately it is impossible to repair the damaged spinal cord at this moment.

(1) What is a spinal cord injury?

There is a huge number of spinal cord injured in the world and we have about 100,00 in our country and 5,000 new injuries are reported every year.

Frequent causes of spinal injuries are;

from automobile accidents, falls, athletic injuries, or any number of often rather minor accidents. Damage results when such an injury compresses the spinal cord, directly damaging the thin cable protected by the vertebrae of the spine. The extent of paralysis depends on the severity and location of the damage. If the site of injury is at the waist, only movement and sensation to the legs are lost. The closer the level of injury is to the brain, the more extensive the loss. This is due to the fact that the spinal cord is organized into segments, each of which controls specific signals as they move between the brain and the rest of the body.

(2) Why is the fund necessary?

While research into the damaged spinal cord repair continues, the spinal cord injured must recognize and accept his condition as soon as possible. We want them to live with dignity and responsibility. However, present conditions in our country still lag behind other countries. Most of the spinal cord injured persons are spending their lives as follows:

1. Forced to stay in bed of isolated care facilities all day long until he dies.

2. Even if he can live with his family, he is dependent on his family all the time. Quite often, this can cause a sacrifice by a member of the family such as a sister's marriage or a family job.

3. If he is fortunate enough to get a job, he will have to face the difficulties such as commuting with/in his wheelchair and health self-care. The disabled person's labor environment in Japan is generally poor, causing sometimes bad decubiti, serious kidney problems among others, and because of these reasons many people have to resign from their jobs. Medical and social care systems for the disabled are insufficient in our country. In some developed countries, it is not rare that spinal cord injured even with an artificial respirator go to college, get jobs and lead married lives.

A consistent system which includes prevention of spinal cord injury accidents, emergency treatment at the accident site and early rehabilitation for the recovery of the remaining functions, is mandatory to make it possible for the spinal cord injured to contribute greatly to society.

The establishment of the Japan Spinal Cord Foundation is a pre-requisite to establish and intensify the research of the damaged spinal cord injury repair and preparation of a comprehensive system for the treatment of the spinal cord injured.

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