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Thread: Today's TED talk 11/6/2013 Grégoire Courtine: The paralyzed rat that walked

  1. #1
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    Today's TED talk 11/6/2013 Grégoire Courtine: The paralyzed rat that walked

    http://www.ted.com/talks/gregoire_co...at_walked.html

    [SIZE=12px]In a lab in Switzerland, a little white rat is re-learning how to walk. In research dubbed [/SIZE]Project Rewalk[SIZE=12px], Grégoire Courtine and his collaborators are figuring out how a spinal cord with a severe lesion might repair itself, to the point that voluntary locomotion could happen again -- not just reactive movement but brain-directed walking and running. The treatment involves a re-awakening cocktail of chemicals released onto the spinal cord, combined with electrical stimulation -- plus repeated exercise that rehearses the walking movement. As part of the experiment, Courtine's team developed a robot that gently supports the rat vertically but does not push it forward; the rat has to decide to move on its own. And eventually, it does. As Courtine explains, "the training forces the brain to recruit what is left of the neural system to get the job done."[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=12px] [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=12px]Courtine holds the International Paraplegic Foundation chair in spinal cord repair at the Center for Neuroprosthetics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.[/SIZE]

  2. #2
    It is a very innovative try to pass the injury site with logical things IMO. What I dont like is the fact that when it comes down to the ´´dramatic´´ talk about can it help paralyzed people........1. This injury model is not representative to people with SCI 2. SCI stages are acute , subacute. No trys in chronic to see if probably those 3 attempts could pass the tissue that stops regeneration in the chronic stage.

    For me its a talk for the soceity but not for people who suffered SCI.

  3. #3


    At minute 2.25 he seies. "classical approach consist of applying intervention that promote the regrowth of severed fibers to their original target and well this certainly remains the key for a cure"

    At minute 11.45: "this is certainly not a cure"
    Dr. Courtine has been very honest here, Often researchers are not so clear.

    ...but most of the people with SCI (or not ) that watch this video just fall in love with this...
    Bottom line this research gets loads of money while real cure research is left behind...

    Paolo

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by paolocipolla

    At minute 2.25 he seies. "classical approach consist of applying intervention that promote the regrowth of severed fibers to their original target and well this certainly remains the key for a cure"

    At minute 11.45: "this is certainly not a cure"
    Dr. Courtine has been very honest here, Often researchers are not so clear.

    ...but most of the people with SCI (or not ) that watch this video just fall in love with this...
    Bottom line this research gets loads of money while real cure research is left behind...

    Paolo
    At 9:55, when showing a cartoon of reconnected fibers with an actual image in the inset, he says "What this constellation of synaptive contacts means is that the brain is reconnected with the locomotor center with only one relay neuron." He then continues to explain how the "remodelling occurred throughout the central nervous system."

    At 11:45, he says "This is certainly not a cure for SCI, but I begin to believe this may lead to an intervention to improve recovery and improve people's quality of life."

    At 13:45, he says this technology is "not to replace lost function, but to help the brain help itself."

    Dr. Courtine may say this is not a cure for SCI, what one project by what one team of researchers is? Is this not a part of the puzzle? How is reconnecting the brain to the locomotor centers of the spinal cord not cure research? New connections have been formed between the brain and the rest of the central nervous system. Sure it was done in mice using an injury model that is not similar to the majority of SCI, but is this not an important first step?

    Your words, Paolo, are often that we need research "to get people out of wheelchairs." You know, I know, and I'm sure Dr. Courtine knows that a cure for SCI involves more than just walking. But who is to say that these customized devices he proposes can be put anywhere in the nervous system won't help other functions? Who is to say there can't be implants to help the brain reconnect with the phrenic nucleus for breathing, or for someone's triceps or hands, or bowel or bladder control centers?

    The two questions I would really like an answer to, Paolo, are:
    1. Was this research a waste?
    2. Should this research be continued or should Dr. Courtine abandon it?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tomsonite
    At 9:55, when showing a cartoon of reconnected fibers with an actual image in the inset, he says "What this constellation of synaptive contacts means is that the brain is reconnected with the locomotor center with only one relay neuron." He then continues to explain how the "remodelling occurred throughout the central nervous system."

    At 11:45, he says "This is certainly not a cure for SCI, but I begin to believe this may lead to an intervention to improve recovery and improve people's quality of life."

    At 13:45, he says this technology is "not to replace lost function, but to help the brain help itself."

    Dr. Courtine may say this is not a cure for SCI, what one project by what one team of researchers is? Is this not a part of the puzzle? How is reconnecting the brain to the locomotor centers of the spinal cord not cure research? New connections have been formed between the brain and the rest of the central nervous system. Sure it was done in mice using an injury model that is not similar to the majority of SCI, but is this not an important first step?

    Your words, Paolo, are often that we need research "to get people out of wheelchairs." You know, I know, and I'm sure Dr. Courtine knows that a cure for SCI involves more than just walking. But who is to say that these customized devices he proposes can be put anywhere in the nervous system won't help other functions? Who is to say there can't be implants to help the brain reconnect with the phrenic nucleus for breathing, or for someone's triceps or hands, or bowel or bladder control centers?

    The two questions I would really like an answer to, Paolo, are:
    1. Was this research a waste?
    2. Should this research be continued or should Dr. Courtine abandon it?
    Tom,

    I just wanted to point out what can easily go unseen because of selective perception and also I wanted to point out that Courtine has been very honest here, which is not always the case with researchers.

    in answer to your questions:

    1) No, it's just that I can tell you for sure that this line of research gets enough money, while others working on regeneration are out of founding.
    As courtine said:"classical approach consist of applying intervention that promote the regrowth of severed fibers to their original target and well this certainly remains the key for a cure"

    2) It should be continued, but we need regeneration research to run at full steam as that is the biggest part of the puzzle that we are missing, would you agree?

    Please read this article when you have time
    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...ralysis-again/

    I think we mostly agree on this epistim research.

    Paolo

  6. #6
    That's ridiculous that research should not have been stopped just because of regulations, is anyone following a similar strategy. From what I read the electric impulses was causing regeneration of the spinal cord. Or am I mistaken?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by paolocipolla

    Tom,

    I just wanted to point out what can easily go unseen because of selective perception and also I wanted to point out that Courtine has been very honest here, which is not always the case with researchers.

    in answer to your questions:

    1) No, it's just that I can tell you for sure that this line of research gets enough money, while others working on regeneration are out of founding.
    As courtine said:"classical approach consist of applying intervention that promote the regrowth of severed fibers to their original target and well this certainly remains the key for a cure"

    2) It should be continued, but we need regeneration research to run at full steam as that is the biggest part of the puzzle that we are missing, would you agree?

    Please read this article when you have time
    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...ralysis-again/

    I think we mostly agree on this epistim research.

    Paolo
    Courtine has been honest, for sure, in stating that this one method of regaining function that he has come up with is not a cure. It is a big piece of the puzzle, and he has achieved regeneration, albeit on a limited scale. In your original post, you said "...but most of the people with SCI (or not ) that watch this video just fall in love with this...Bottom line this research gets loads of money while real cure research is left behind..." If you ask me, this is along the line of "real" cure research. The original purpose of the research might not have been regeneration, but some regeneration was achieved.

    I agree whole-heartedly that research where the main goal IS regeneration does need more attention and funding. Regenerated neurons that are capable of carrying signals between the brain and the body is absolutely the biggest piece of the puzzle, and the one that is missing the most. But what Courtine's work shows us, or even the information from the article by Douglas Fields (thanks for that by the way, I'm a big fan of his) shows us is that physically based therapies can help in regenerating spinal cord tissue, as long as the glial blockage is cleaned up. I don't think "manufacturing" new tissue is the only way we will get regeneration - perhaps if the environment at the injury isn't so hostile, physically based therapies will be able to spur on regeneration. Again, the injury itself must be dealt with, but stem cells and gene therapies are not our only options for getting tissue to grow back.

    In your original post you made it seem like you were dismissing the importance of Courtine's work because regeneration was not the main goal, which is why I asked you those questions.

  8. #8
    Are you referring to Courtine's research?

  9. #9
    Yeah the student in the article, that becomes a scientist

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