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Science
CONNECT - The Next Step
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Quentin Cooper goes for a walk...

Wednesday 31 July 2002, 9.00-9.30pm

The role science plays in everyday life often goes unnoticed. A visit to the museum, the dentist or even the fridge exposes us to breakthroughs in the lab that have spilled out into the real world. In Connect Quentin Cooper examines the technologies that make an impact on us all and finds out whether they are helping or hindering.


In the first of a new series, Connect investigates the mechanics of walking - one of the human body's greatest achievements.

"When the clouds moved away I could see a man's face. He said look old man you've had an accident, we may have to remove your right leg. I said "OK". And I can remember that now like it was five minutes ago."
Arthur Kenny, 76, describing his amputation of 40 years ago.

Dr Jim Richards of Salford University with Quentin Cooper
and producer Alison Ayres.

We take our first steps at around the age of one and many of us continue to walk unaided for the rest of our lives. It happens so easily we take it for granted, but this feat of biological engineering is vulnerable to breakdowns resulting from accidents or disease. Quentin explores the locomotory system that is uniquely human, and finds out how technology is helping people with mobility problems back onto their feet again.

"The doctors told my family I would be paralysed from the neck down and never move again, but gradually I've come on."
Kevin Broadhead, spinal injury patient, Glasgow.
Behind the scenes of every rehabilitation centre there is a team of engineers and scientists. They're working to create devices, training programmes and analytical equipment which can help people who have suffered accidents or disease recover the ability to walk. Other scientists are hard at work in the laboratory, making fundamental discoveries about how the brain and spinal cord jointly control the walking process. Quentin Cooper asks what impact their efforts are having on improving people's mobility.
Quentin's movements are analysed in the laboratory.

With contributions from:

1) Kevin Broadhead - Spinal Injury Patient the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Glasgow
2) Mr Albert Kenny - Amputee and research patient at Salford University
3) Dr Jim Richards - Senior Lecturer in the Gait Analysis lab at Salford University.
4) Professor Kingsley Robinson - Clinical Researcher at the Douglas Bader Rehabilitation Centre Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton
5) Dean Munday - Clinical trial patient and osseo-integration amputee.
6) Professor John Rothwell - Prof of Human Neurophysiology at University College, London
7) Dr David Ewins - Director of the Centre for Bio-medical Engineering, Surrey University
8) Professor Ian Swain - Bio-engineer, Salisbury District Hospital
9) John Hasler - Superintendent physiotherapist the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Centre, Glasgow
10) Alan Maclaine - Spinal Injury consultant at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Centre, Glasgow.

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