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Calgary clinic uses new technology to help people with spinal cord injuries, MS

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WATCH: A Calgary clinic is opening its doors to the public to show how it’s using new technology to help people with MS, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions rehabilitate. Heather Yourex-West reports – Mar 21, 2017

A Calgary clinic is opening its doors to the public this week to show how it’s using new technology to help people with MS, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions to rehabilitate.

“Synaptic is a registered charity that started about five years ago in Calgary,” said Uyen Nguyen, executive director at the Synaptic Spinal Cord Injury and Neuro Rehabilitation Centre.

“People with neurological conditions–such as MS, Parkinson’s, stroke–had very few options for outpatient care once they left the hospital setting, so Synaptic was born and designed out of that need.”

Terry Tenove is working towards a career as a phys-ed teacher and has been working out at Synaptic three times a week since October 2016. The new father suffered a spinal cord injury six years ago.

READ MORE: Can’t doesn’t exist for incredible boy who suffers from spinal cord injury

“It was just a fluke accident. A couple guys fell on my head and separated my neck,” Tenova said. “I have no finger dexterity or triceps…anything below my chest is hard to move.”

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After his injury, Tenove received rehabilitation through Alberta Health Services at the University of Alberta Hospital and the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. But after he was discharged, he knew he wanted to continue working towards regaining some of the abilities he lost.

“My goal is to maximize the potential in my body,” he said. “Every spinal cord injury is different, so I have no idea what it is I’ll be able to do.”

Tenove said because he’s able to work with two physiotherapists at once, he’s made a lot of progress recently.

“I’ve been injured six years, I’ve been here for six months or so and I’ve already seen gains that I haven’t seen in six years of working out on my own.”

The clinic is private but fees are subsidized by the facilities own fundraising. Other services are also covered by extended health insurance plans.

WATCH: Calgary man with spinal cord injury fighting for local rehabilitation funding 

The facility is holding an open house Thursday, March 23 to showcase its new facility and some of the new technology it’s now using to help clients.

Synaptic recently moved to a new, more accessible location in the city’s southeast and has added technology not available elsewhere in Canada.

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“We’re currently the only centre in Canada to offer technology like Xcite FES therapy, that improves the loss of hand function that occurs after a stroke or spinal cord injury,” Nguyen said.

The open house at Synaptic is being held on March 23 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at 305, 6940 Fisher Road S.E.

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