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Thread: Rats - If only I was a Rat

  1. #1
    Senior Member Geoffrey's Avatar
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    Smile Rats - If only I was a Rat

    Paralyzed rats regain mobility with a combination of robotics and chemical stimulation


    Researchers working at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have successfully made use of electrical and chemical stimulation techniques to excite neurons in the lower spinal cord of previously paralyzed rats, enabling the subject rodents to walk and even run when suspended by a vest which provides balance and restricts movement to the hind legs only.

    Previous studies of this nature have shown that it is possible to circumvent the severed connection between brain and legs in paralyzed rats by stimulation of a subject's spinal-chord, but such movement is involuntary and therefore not thought to require input from the brain. The new research by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) however, proves that with a specialized regime of training coupled with an injection of a chemical solution of monoamine agonists, the rodents can regain voluntary control over their legs, encouraged as they were by chocolate rewards and vocal praise from the researchers at EPFL.

    For their part, the scientists at EPFL used a vest to suspend the rats on their hind legs without providing forward momentum. Ten paralyzed rats were trained daily to walk while suspended in this way, both on a treadmill and with a robotic system which moved their legs automatically. After just two to three weeks of this routine, the rats were able to walk up small steps and, in due course, run. The procedure even led to the creation of new neuronal connections between the brain and the lower spine, "this is the first time we have seen voluntary control of locomotion in an animal with [an injury] that normally leaves it completely paralyzed," said Grégoire Courtine, senior author of the study and holder of the International Paraplegic Foundation (IRP) Chair in Spinal Cord Repair at EPFL.

    The eventual aim of the research is to design and implement a fully operative spinal neuroprosthetic system for humans and to this end, the researchers at EPFL are embarking on a €9 million (approximately US$11.1 million) project titled NeuWalk, though Courtine was keen to stress that while the research showed much promise, it most definitely is not evidence of a cure in of itself. Speaking to AFP, Courtine said "We are not thinking this will cure spinal cord injury. We need to be very clear on this. This is not a cure".


    To see the original article
    http://www.gizmag.com/paralyzed-rat-mobility/22774/

  2. #2

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
    Paralyzed rats regain mobility with a combination of robotics and chemical stimulation


    Researchers working at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have successfully made use of electrical and chemical stimulation techniques to excite neurons in the lower spinal cord of previously paralyzed rats, enabling the subject rodents to walk and even run when suspended by a vest which provides balance and restricts movement to the hind legs only.

    Previous studies of this nature have shown that it is possible to circumvent the severed connection between brain and legs in paralyzed rats by stimulation of a subject's spinal-chord, but such movement is involuntary and therefore not thought to require input from the brain. The new research by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) however, proves that with a specialized regime of training coupled with an injection of a chemical solution of monoamine agonists, the rodents can regain voluntary control over their legs, encouraged as they were by chocolate rewards and vocal praise from the researchers at EPFL.

    For their part, the scientists at EPFL used a vest to suspend the rats on their hind legs without providing forward momentum. Ten paralyzed rats were trained daily to walk while suspended in this way, both on a treadmill and with a robotic system which moved their legs automatically. After just two to three weeks of this routine, the rats were able to walk up small steps and, in due course, run. The procedure even led to the creation of new neuronal connections between the brain and the lower spine, "this is the first time we have seen voluntary control of locomotion in an animal with [an injury] that normally leaves it completely paralyzed," said Grégoire Courtine, senior author of the study and holder of the International Paraplegic Foundation (IRP) Chair in Spinal Cord Repair at EPFL.

    The eventual aim of the research is to design and implement a fully operative spinal neuroprosthetic system for humans and to this end, the researchers at EPFL are embarking on a €9 million (approximately US$11.1 million) project titled NeuWalk, though Courtine was keen to stress that while the research showed much promise, it most definitely is not evidence of a cure in of itself. Speaking to AFP, Courtine said "We are not thinking this will cure spinal cord injury. We need to be very clear on this. This is not a cure".


    To see the original article
    http://www.gizmag.com/paralyzed-rat-mobility/22774/

    Hi Geoffrey, you don't want to be in the place of a rat, a million rats die each year of this kind of trials. I used to say the same thing. I wonder if we vote to see how many of us will try clinical trials, if they tell us that is very risky. I go first, I am chicken, I won't do it because I have my hands and can do a lot, I don't want to get worse. I must say I complain all the time why no human clinical trials,yet, if they ask me I'll run way. Shame on me to be so chicken. I read that doctors years ago used to take medications themselves to see if is going to work, what a brave doctors!

    manouli.

  3. #3
    I wouldn't want to be the rat in the NYU impactor.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Geoffrey's Avatar
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    Manouli,
    I was only kidding! I was talking to a research Doctor the other day and jokingly said "How come the rats get all fun trying out the new stuff?" He laughed and said in a somber voice "Because there are so many to take the place of the ones that don't make it, and there are lots of them."
    When I came out of the hospital in 2006 I was doing some research on going to China with Beike Biotech. I asked them 5 simple questions that they could not or would not answer me so I stopped any further thoughts of going over there. Also, when I spoke to some researchers in Alberta and they told me that I would be excluded from any clinical studies if I did go over there that also made up my mind.
    So I will wait for the Rats to do a good job and see what happens.

  5. #5

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
    Manouli,
    I was only kidding! I was talking to a research Doctor the other day and jokingly said "How come the rats get all fun trying out the new stuff?" He laughed and said in a somber voice "Because there are so many to take the place of the ones that don't make it, and there are lots of them."
    When I came out of the hospital in 2006 I was doing some research on going to China with Beike Biotech. I asked them 5 simple questions that they could not or would not answer me so I stopped any further thoughts of going over there. Also, when I spoke to some researchers in Alberta and they told me that I would be excluded from any clinical studies if I did go over there that also made up my mind.
    So I will wait for the Rats to do a good job and see what happens.

    I know you were kidding, lol but we most of us thinking why not us then the rats, because when they write about, it's only when the rats are walking not that when they are dead. lol
    I think clinical trials, to me, is like playing poker, you want to go all in when you know you have the winning hand, and win, even then you can still lose, but you know you call because your odds is in your favor. A lot of players are going with crap hand all in and they lose all of the money because they go all in to bluff or for a miracle to get all the money and they lose their pantalonia. When we go for surgery is a risk, we can die, but we know most of us will make it because so many people get surgeries with high success.


    Geoffrey, do you play poker? I tell you one time I had KJ and the flop was KKJ so I had a full house I was very happy, the turn card was Q the pot was, 400.00 I check and the guy goes all in and I call, I was so happyyyyy, you know what? he had KQ and got all my money. lolol see what I mean, lol.

  6. #6
    Glad you did your research and steered clear Geoffrey.

  7. #7
    You shouldn't be jealous of rats because scientists haven't cured them either. They walk because they're not given a complete injury. Even control group rats who don't receive the treatment can walk. Deceiving to the media, but not to fellow scientists.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Geoffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NowhereMan View Post
    You shouldn't be jealous of rats because scientists haven't cured them either. They walk because they're not given a complete injury. Even control group rats who don't receive the treatment can walk. Deceiving to the media, but not to fellow scientists.
    Funny that you mention "complete injury". Most SCI's are different, well that is in-completes but completes such as mine are pretty much the same. Now some end up with a lot more nerve pain and some with none. I am not sure where I end up on that scale but I certainly have some.

    My sister talks about a "cure" someday and I tell her that I rarely follow the news anymore. If something happens in the "Stem Cell" arena I am sure I will hear about it.

    I like to follow the technical advances on things that can make my life as a paraplegic more enjoyable like a "lightweight, easy to use, long battery life, slimline, good looking, easy to get into, easy to hide, silent, fast, inexpensive, strong - do I ask for to much - exo skeleton.

    Now if I had $100M I would put it into a company to come up with that rather than Stem Cell research so all the people in wheelchairs could have a way to build up strength and have some fun preparing for the cure that may get to them later.

  9. #9
    guys, the Miami project gets millionms if not billions, the cirm california gets millons if not billions. the Reeve foundation , the same. Now wise Young is asking for us to donate $/'day. How can it be that wise is supposedly on target for a cure. why can't wise get access to these funds. Doesn't make sense.

  10. #10
    Senior Member khmorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
    My sister talks about a "cure" someday and I tell her that I rarely follow the news anymore. If something happens in the "Stem Cell" arena I am sure I will hear about it.
    What sucks is that you keep hearing about breakthroughs that aren't, and cures that aren't.

    The first breakthrough cure I heard about for SCI was in 1967. It made all the papers.

    I'm with manouli. I'll wait until the treatment has been proven safe and effective. I'd like to get better, but I certainly don't want to get worse.

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