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Thread: Epidural spinal cord stimulation in a paraplegic human

  1. #1
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Epidural spinal cord stimulation in a paraplegic human

    Saw this on a television program just now. They think it might promote plasticity, enough in time for the brain and spinal cord to figure out new pathways to communicate. Read the articles. We should all have one of these, if it won't interfere with any delivery of a future cure therapy. The weight bearing alone would be worth it.

    Epidural spinal cord stimulation in a paraplegic human
    A team of scientists at the University of Louisville, UCLA and the California Institute of Technology has achieved a significant breakthrough in its initial work with a paralyzed male volunteer at Louisville’s Frazier Rehab Institute. It is the result of 30 years of research to find potential clinical therapies for paralysis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdf View Post
    Saw this on a television program just now. They think it might promote plasticity, enough in time for the brain and spinal cord to figure out new pathways to communicate. Read the articles. We should all have one of these, if it won't interfere with any delivery of a future cure therapy. The weight bearing alone would be worth it.

    Epidural spinal cord stimulation in a paraplegic human
    Thanks for this post.
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  3. #3
    Wow, that looks like good therapy, direct weight bearing on the legs with no braces and the muscles activating. Something like that would be really good for the bones I can imagine, thanks for posting.
    "Life is about how you
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    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  4. #4
    cool stuff.....

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    The main hope is that this promising study does not simply evaporate.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by rdf View Post
    Saw this on a television program just now. They think it might promote plasticity, enough in time for the brain and spinal cord to figure out new pathways to communicate. Read the articles. We should all have one of these, if it won't interfere with any delivery of a future cure therapy. The weight bearing alone would be worth it.

    Epidural spinal cord stimulation in a paraplegic human
    I don't understand why there wasn't a lot of hype regarding this research and their findings. This really is very exciting news and I would have liked to have read some feedback from some of you on this site in the know. I would encourage anyone reading this post to check out the press release and the Q & A.
    "Wheelie Wanna Walk!"

  7. #7
    I thought we'd covered this story already?

    I wonder whether and how quickly this device could be developed to facilitate something like normal walking? Clearly he was standing up by holdig a frame and maybe taking some tentative steps.

    Or will it have to be a biological solution?

  8. #8
    Christopher, like I say, it's really worth watching the whole article in detail, it's very interesting. By stimulating the cord below the lesion not only were they able to contract the required muscles for standing, stepping etc, (as has already been done with FES) but after a number of weeks somehow (they don't fully understand how yet) the patient was able to stand, step and move his toes at will, but only while the stimulation was turned on. Apparently this was unexpected. The stimulation is not directed to each muscle as in the FES, but is just a pulse at a set frequency applied direct to the cord below the lesion to just give it a kick start. This is not the cure, but is very positive news in that it confirms that our spinal cord below the lesion is still alive and kicking so to speak and, if anything, looks like a good way to go in terms of rehab. I may be intrepreting this incorrect and I guess that was why I was hoping to see further discusion on this story.

    Geoman
    "Wheelie Wanna Walk!"

  9. #9
    I think it has been discussed elsewhere at least a little bit.

    I agree the central pattern generator provides us with hope - some people are up and walking with just small amounts of spinal cord remaining at the injury site when others whose mri scans appear very similar are 'complete'. Why is that? Is the mri not showing something? Did their surviving fibres just happen to be the critical ones? Did they work harder? (joking)

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