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Plenary #1 - The Guttmann Lecture: Dr Fumihiro Tajima

Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
10:00 AM - 10:55 AM
Auditorium - Track 1


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Prof Fumihiro Tajima
Wakayama Medical University

Dr. Yutaka Nakamura and Prof. Hajime Ogata promoted to study sports science and medicine of persons with spinal cord injury in Japan.

10:00 AM - 10:55 AM


Rehabilitation medicine in Japan has made dramatic and successful progress, especially in subject of a spinal cord injury (SCI). When we, Japanese medical doctors, discuss progress of Japanese Rehabilitation in SCI persons, we remember Sir Ludwig Guttman and Dr. Yutaka Nakamura. Dr. Nakamura learned Rehabilitation medicine in Stoke Mandeville, England in 1960. When Dr. Yutaka Nakamura returned to Japan, he founded his hospital for persons with SCI and promoted Oita international wheelchair marathon race (OIMR) to promote and demonstrate their physical activities.

However, Japanese people did have big concerns about medical safety in SCI and did not approve the full marathon race. Prof. Hajime Ogata who was the former professor of Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, studied medical condition of SCI athletes during and after the race. And Dr. Kou Asayama who was a co-worker of Prof. Ogata published the data and the race was approved as the full marathon race. At that time, I graduated from medical school and started to study sports science and medicine of SCI. I have been studying it for more than 35 years and we fonded Sports and Exercise Research Center in Wakayama Medical University, Japan. The Japanese government authorized the institute as Joint Usage/Research Center of Sports for SCI athletes.

We found temporal suppression of Natural Killer Cell Activity after full marathon race but increases of that after half marathon race in SCI. Blood IL-6 increased after 2 h arm crank ergometer exercise in 60% of VO2 in SCI. Longitudinal sustain and increases of physical capacity over 20 years in SCI athletes. It was clinical importance that low echoic lesions under the skin in SCI should be a kind of seed of pressure ulcers. Recently, we are applying acute mobilization to SCI to improve their physical activities in our University Hospital.

I strongly hope that Japanese young doctors will study OIMR to improve care and health condition in SCI. I believe that Dr. Nakamura and Prof. Ogata hope, too. We, Japanese Doctors, appreciate to Sir Goodman, eternity.


Fumihiro Tajima, MD and PhD is Director and Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, School of Medicine (2003 - present). Fumi has been studying exercise and environmental physiology in persons with SCI and taken care of SCI as a medical doctor of Rehabilitation Medicine for 35 years. He is Vice President of Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine (JARM, 2014 - present), and Vice Chair of Medical division of Japanese Paralympic Committee (2005 - present). He was awarded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2017, because of his scientific contribution in athletes with impairments. He has published more than 300 papers and 30 books in English and Japanese. This year, he has been awarded the title of Honorary Clinical Professor in Rehabilitation Medicine in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, at Loughborough University. Recently, he has been elected as Chairperson of the 58th Annual Meeting of JARM in 2021. In educational contribution, he has annually taught 100 medical students, and so far he has promoted more than 35 specialist physicians, 38 Masters of Science, and 20 Doctors of Philosophy. He loves Fly fishing, Go and Golf.