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Imagining Life With Less Spasticity

Wanted: Creative depictions from experts on tight, stiff muscles associated with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury

May 28, 2003
Source: Medtronic, Inc.

For many of the estimated 500,000 Americans who suffer from spasticity -- an often undiagnosed and untreated condition commonly associated with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury -- "tight, stiff muscles" as a description does not adequately capture its impact on daily life.

So a consortium of patient advocacy groups -- WE MOVE, Easter Seals, Brain Injury Association of America, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, The National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and National Stroke Association -- and Medtronic, Inc., are asking the experts on spasticity -- patients and caregivers who cope with tight, stiff muscles every day -- to imagine their lives with less of it. (How would it feel? What would you do?)

As a part of "Exploring Spasticity," a national educational program that aims to raise awareness through creative expression, responses ranging from written descriptions to illustrations will be used create the opportunity for people affected by spasticity to learn about coping strategies and treatment options from one another. In addition, the program also seeks to create awareness among people who do not know they have spasticity and those who have never thought about treating it.

Responses will be featured on the program's Web site, and 12 submissions will be selected for publication in a 2004 calendar. Entries for "Exploring Spasticity" will be accepted until Sept. 1, 2003. People whose submissions are selected for the calendar will receive a $250 American Express(R) Gift Cheque, and all participants will receive a complimentary calendar. For more information on how to participate in the program, please visit or call 800-731-2921.

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