Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 18 of 18

Thread: Has anyone seen research like this idea?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mize View Post
    Ah. Gotcha. So I don't know, but my thinking was your cut the cord above and below the glial scarring/injury area then somehow connect the freshly-cut axons to the sensor array thing using some combination of laboratory-grown flesh and surgical glue. Whether or not that stops the body from then growing more glial stuff in there I have no clue.
    Once axons below an SCI are no longer connected to a neuron, the axons disintegrate. There are no axons below the injury that aren't connected to a neuron above or below the injury. So the real challenge would be finding a way to connect this electrical signal bridge to neurons below the injury, which may not even be there anymore. Then, you'd also have to deal with intrinsic synaptic plasticity after you put the electrical array in - the spinal cord below the original injury will surely remodel itself quite a bit once it starts receiving information again from this array (as well as the spinal cord above the injury once it starts receiving sensory input from below). As for the extra gliosis, you're almost certain to have some if you completely cut out the spinal cord above and below the injury.

    I'm curious as to why you'd need to completely cut out any remaining tissue. As you said, with your idea, one would lose any function at the spinal segments in which this theoretical array is implanted. For a t3-t7 injury like yours, this means losing a lot of trunk muscle function that aids in posture, locomotion, coughing - all things I'd imagine you'd want a curative therapy to address. Why would there be a need to completely get rid of the spinal cord at the affected segments?

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,790
    Quote Originally Posted by tomsonite View Post
    Once axons below an SCI are no longer connected to a neuron, the axons disintegrate. There are no axons below the injury that aren't connected to a neuron above or below the injury. So the real challenge would be finding a way to connect this electrical signal bridge to neurons below the injury, which may not even be there anymore. Then, you'd also have to deal with intrinsic synaptic plasticity after you put the electrical array in - the spinal cord below the original injury will surely remodel itself quite a bit once it starts receiving information again from this array (as well as the spinal cord above the injury once it starts receiving sensory input from below). As for the extra gliosis, you're almost certain to have some if you completely cut out the spinal cord above and below the injury.

    I'm curious as to why you'd need to completely cut out any remaining tissue. As you said, with your idea, one would lose any function at the spinal segments in which this theoretical array is implanted. For a t3-t7 injury like yours, this means losing a lot of trunk muscle function that aids in posture, locomotion, coughing - all things I'd imagine you'd want a curative therapy to address. Why would there be a need to completely get rid of the spinal cord at the affected segments?
    Well, I'm facing that loss daily as it is, but, to answer your question, one needn't remove the injured material, but this approach would bypass it. Essentially the concept relies on connecting nerves to a planar sensor array, hence the "need" to completely cut the cord so it can be attached to the array.

    Lower spine axon/nerve death is a big issue.
    T3-T6 complete since Sept 2015.

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,790
    Quote Originally Posted by tomsonite View Post
    I'm much more familiar with the cellular environment of the injury site side of things, but I can't imagine a way in which electrochemical signals can be converted into electrical signals, and then back into the appropriate electrochemical signals that will reach their intended targets.
    I'm not sure what your question is here. A-B Electrochemical->Electrical->B-A Electrochemical transduction should be a huge challenge compared to the attachment and the lower-spine atrophy you mentioned.
    T3-T6 complete since Sept 2015.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Mize View Post
    I'm not sure what your question is here. A-B Electrochemical->Electrical->B-A Electrochemical transduction should be a huge challenge compared to the attachment and the lower-spine atrophy you mentioned.
    In a fully intact nervous system, the thought "I'm going to move my toe" originates in the brain; an electrical gradient passes from a brain neuron down into the spinal cord. At the end of that axon, chemicals jump across a synapse to another neuron that originates within the spinal cord, and starts another electrical signal that makes its way to a muscle, where more chemicals jump across a synapse on to a muscle, signalling the muscle to contract.

    Then, sensory receptors within the muscle set off an electrical reaction that travels back up to a neuron that (most often) lies just outside the spinal cord. This neuron then sends this electrical signal back in to the spinal cord, where the electrical signal travels up another axon to the brain, where finally, chemicals jump across a synapse on to another neuron in the sensory cortex (more or less, its actually a little more complicated) where you feel the sensation of your toe moving, receiving confirmation that you have moved your toe.

    My question is, how would your theoretical array be able to correctly interpret this "move my toe" signal from the brain, convert it to an electrical (digital?) signal, then on the other end make sure the "move my toe" signal gets to the neuron/axon that does indeed move your toe, rather than send it to an axon that will facilitate digestion, for instance? And on the other end, how will the sensory information from the toe moving be processed in this theoretical array, so that it gets sent back up to the brain so that you feel your toe move, rather than feel something else happening somewhere else in the body?

    I'm not trying to challenge you, just trying to understand if you've thought of these things and how it would work - again, I've got no foundation of materials or engineering or anything like that.

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,790
    Ah, I see.

    I propose that this dual-array, transduction device is dumb. It does no processing. It simply detects the downward signal, transmits it (via wire) to the lower array where the lower array then reproduces the signal for the lower spine. Upon the return signal the process is reversed.

    Undoubtedly the downward and upward signals won't align with the right/original neurons so I would rely on intensive training and neuroplasticity to remap those connections within the brain.
    T3-T6 complete since Sept 2015.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Mize View Post
    Ah, I see.

    I propose that this dual-array, transduction device is dumb. It does no processing. It simply detects the downward signal, transmits it (via wire) to the lower array where the lower array then reproduces the signal for the lower spine. Upon the return signal the process is reversed.

    Undoubtedly the downward and upward signals won't align with the right/original neurons so I would rely on intensive training and neuroplasticity to remap those connections within the brain.
    It would require nano-technology that would allow for billions of electrical signal pathways to enable proper communications between neuronal paths and networks between the lower and upper spinal cord, and then somehow allow natural plasticity to take place after the surgery and after physical rehabilitation.

    Holograms require a laser to be projected properly. If I'm not mistaken, holograms were actually invented in the 1940's - around 20 years before the first laser was developed. Someone basically came up with the idea and theorized it would work, if only they had access to a beam of light that was one color and traveled in a straight line, rather than dissipate like natural light does.

    An idea that requires technology that hasn't been invented yet is different than an idea that is just straight up dumb

  7. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,790
    Are you claiming there are billions of neural pathways in the spine? I was under the impression it was tens of thousands to a few million just based on there being only 650 muscles but knowing sensation is pretty important too!

    From what I've found the average axon diameter in the spinal cord is about 2 microns. Most CCDs are around 5 microns today and the masking technology for semiconductors is now at 10 nm (0.010 microns) so I don't think we're that far off on the nano-sensing end of things.

    Bridging signals between the two is a big issue though since the normal way is to transmit serially (or X-bits in serial fashion) over a bus.
    T3-T6 complete since Sept 2015.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Mize View Post
    Are you claiming there are billions of neural pathways in the spine? I was under the impression it was tens of thousands to a few million just based on there being only 650 muscles but knowing sensation is pretty important too!

    From what I've found the average axon diameter in the spinal cord is about 2 microns. Most CCDs are around 5 microns today and the masking technology for semiconductors is now at 10 nm (0.010 microns) so I don't think we're that far off on the nano-sensing end of things.

    Bridging signals between the two is a big issue though since the normal way is to transmit serially (or X-bits in serial fashion) over a bus.
    The best estimates we have these days for the number of neurons in the brain is around 86 billion (yes, Billion, with a "b"). Not all of them project through the spinal cord, but many of them do. There are also neurons that originate in the spinal cord, and project either back up to the brain, or throughout the body. It is estimated that some neurons in the brain can synapse with, at most, 10 thousand other neurons, so it is reasonable to assume that many neurons in the spinal cord can come close to, if not match that. So I don't know how many neurons per se transcend the spinal cord, but if we're talking about connections in a network, I'd say only a couple million is quite a conservative estimate.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-14-2006, 07:09 PM
  2. idea for raising sci research funds
    By Nancie in forum Cure
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-08-2004, 01:27 PM
  3. Funding Idea for SCI Research
    By Bareback Jack in forum Funding, Legislation, & Advocacy
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-04-2003, 10:31 AM
  4. Idea: State Supported Adult Stem Cell Research
    By Steven Edwards in forum Funding, Legislation, & Advocacy
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-20-2003, 02:30 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •