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Washington, U.S.A. – FBR Media and executive producer Frankie Trull announced July 10 the world premiere of their made-for-television documentary “Janne’s Next Step” on Sunday, July 29, 2012, at 12:30 PM PDT on Los Angeles’ KTTV, Channel 11. “Janne’s Next Step” is the latest episode in FBR Media’s Bench to Bedside TV series.
With this distinguished documentary, FBR Media brings to life the story of how a revolutionary spinal cord injury therapy, called Locomotor Training, is helping people with spinal cord injuries regain function, and even walk again. An advanced screening of the film will be held at UCLA’s Charles E. Young Grand Salon at 6:30 PM on Thursday, July 12 th.
“The basis of Locomotor Training is the discovery that the spinal cord has a complicated circuitry that can control locomotor,” said Dr. V. Reggie Edgerton, Distinguished Professor of Integrative Biology and Physiology and of Neurology at UCLA. “Our research has proven that the spinal cord can actually re-learn how to walk after a spinal cord injury, without input from the brain.”
After Janne Kouri suffered a tragic diving accident that nearly cost him his life, he was told he would never walk again. He underwent an experimental activity-based rehabilitation treatment called Locomotor Training that was developed by Dr. Reggie Edgerton (UCLA) and Dr. Susan Harkema (University of Louisville) in partnership with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Locomotor Training re-teaches the spinal cord how to control motor functions, like walking, through repetitive motion. It was developed and perfected with the help of lab animals and brave people, like Janne. After months of intensive training, Janne began to regain function in his feet, then in his legs, and today Janne can take steps with a walker.
Janne is now helping hundreds of others living with spinal cord injuries through his nonprofit organization, NextStep Fitness — the first community facility in the U.S. to offer Locomotor and activity-based training at its state-of-the-art facility in Los Angeles. With this optimistic story of human triumph over tragedy, “Janne’s Next Step” shows viewers how dedicated experts at UCLA, University of Louisville and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation are developing incredible, cutting-edge treatments to help those living with spinal cord injuries walk again.