Another Three Paralyzed Patients Get To Walk Again Thanks To The Spinal Cord Implant
No matter how far medicine has advanced, solutions to spinal cord injuries have always come difficult to those making attempting to help. But as time progresses technology slowly improves, making way for new discoveries. Researchers have recently found a way to help paraplegic patients improve their quality of life.
A person who is paraplegic is most commonly someone paralyzed from the waist down, and so do not have use of their legs.
Some initial concepts of helping such patients to walk involved a robotic exoskeleton that moved their legs for them. The problem with this type of solution is that it didn’t really allow for the stimulation of muscle in the limbs, which, if paralyzed, helps keep one stable.
Dr. Jocelyne Bloch, of Lausanne University Hospital, has found a smaller and more efficient way to help people who’ve been paralyzed from the waist down. Three patients were given an implant that used targeted stimulation, allowing them to walk with the assistance of a harness for a short period of time.
According to Dr. Bloch, the three test subjects were walking within a week.
To put it simply, think of the implant as an adapter. The spine is the road between the nerves in the legs and the brain.
What the implant does is re-establish the connection, so that a person’s grey matter can send signals to the leg’s muscles to move.
With such promising results, there is hope that this technology can replace connections that were lost as the result of disease or accident.
Physical therapy is also important, as it was found in other studies that those who did not have regular sessions regressed after electro-therapy stimulation ceased.
I’ve seen TV shows that talked about such technology existing. It feels like something straight out of a comic book, but if this implant can provide full recovery in the future, what other medical advancements will we get soon?