Medical Breakthrough Reverses Paralysis
|Credit: EPFL - Participant David Mzee Able to Walk Again|
Significant Breakthrough for Spinal Cord Injuries
This is medicine at the cutting edge of innovation. 3 patients with paraplegia were able to walk again when their spinal cords received electrical stimulation via a wireless implant. And after a few months of training the patients were able to control their previously paralyzed leg muscles without electrical stimulation. The 3 had significant spinal cord injuries.
The study was led by the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland. It establishes a new framework for improving recovery from spinal cord injuries.
Speedy and Effective Treatment
The patients, who had been paralyzed for years, regained voluntary control of their leg muscles within a week of treatment. The patients are able to walk on their own with the aid of crutches or a walker. Through their extensive research, the scientists and physicians were able to mimic how the brain in real time naturally activates the spinal cord and triggers the growth of new nerve connections. The results were published in Nature and Nature Neuroscience.