Medtronic, Inc. today announced the launch of an educational campaign, called Release Your Potential, designed to raise awareness of spasticity, a condition that makes it difficult to voluntarily relax muscles

Spasticity can result from brain injury, cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. It is a condition that affects more than 12 million people worldwide and can vary from mild to severe muscle stiffness. This new campaign, conducted in partnership with prominent patient advocacy groups, including the Brain Association of America, MS World, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, National Stroke Association, and United Cerebral Palsy, is being kicked off today in Minneapolis with a live event and webcast. The event will feature presentations about severe spasticity and treatment options, and an opportunity to meet others who are living with the condition.

“Spasticity can make everyday activities challenging. The condition can be painful, and it can mask one’s abilities, which is why we are launching a campaign that is focused on motivating people living with spasticity to seek to release their potential,” said Jill Guimont, Release Your Potential program manager at Medtronic. “While there is no cure, there are available treatment options that can help manage or reduce symptoms. With our campaign, we hope to encourage those who may be experiencing the symptoms of spasticity to talk with their healthcare professional and to discuss potential treatment options.”

Medtronic and patient advocacy groups participating in the campaign are hosting a live kick-off event at 7 p.m. central time, Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Minneapolis. The kick-off event, which will be webcast at, will be led by Jennifer Doble, M.D., medical director of TBI Rehabilitation Services Tree Rehab Systems and Spasticity program director at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI, who will speak about severe spasticity and available treatment options.

Additionally, three patients who are living with severe spasticity will share their experiences with the condition and their treatments.

“Tight, stiff muscles caused by spasticity may not only limit movement, they can be painful,” said Dr. Doble. “Spasms can make simple tasks impossible for a patient with hemiplegia, paraplegia or quadriplegia. The campaign is about encouraging people to take control of their spasticity so they can find a treatment option that is appropriate. Releasing the spasms with the right treatment can help them regain the ability to do simple and even more challenging tasks.”

As a part of the campaign, Medtronic has launched a website This interactive website enables users to view videos and testimonials; utilize online tools to help learn about and manage severe spasticity; and connect with other users who have been impacted by the condition.

The campaign is ongoing, with local events and teleconferences being scheduled across the country. To register for the webcast or find a local Release Your Potential event, please visit There is no cost to attend these events.

(Source: Press Release)