Implanted spinal stimulation device allows patients to stand, walk and swim
By Admin | February 14, 2022
After a motorcycle accident in 2017, Michel Roccati, 30, wasn’t expected to be able to stand on his own ever again, let alone walk. But on a sunny day in 2019, at the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland, he walked across a promenade, thanks to the help of perfectly timed electrical impulses in his spine.
Two years after his injury, Roccati had been one of three men with paralyzing spinal cord injuries to enroll in a trial that allowed them to test-run a prototype of a modified medical device that could help people like them regain movement.
The surgically-implanted device, called a spinal cord stimulator, has been used for decades to treat chronic pain. Scientists modified the technology, which sends electrical signals to select areas of the spinal cord to help people who are paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury stand and even walk. (In people without spinal cord injuries, these electrical signals are sent by the brain to the spinal cord when a person wants to move their limbs.)
In a study, results of which were published Monday in Nature Medicine, Swiss researchers used a version of the device to do just that.
Within hours of starting therapy with the device, all three men could move their legs. After just one day of practicing specific activities, they were able to stand, walk with the help of a walker, cycle and swim. With the help of therapy, they were also able to...(More)
For more info please read, Implanted spinal stimulation device allows patients to stand, walk and swim, by NBC News