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Neurology

Electrodes Could Help Paralysed Regain Movement

16 years, 1 month ago

858  0
Posted on Oct 10, 2002, 7 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Researchers from Arizona State University have enabled a partly disabled man to walk again by implanting electrodes in his lower back. The man still has to use a wheelchair, although his able to walk unaided for several hundred meters. Researchers believe that the impulses from the electrodes combined with regular treadmill sessions have prompted the spinal cord's circuitry to "relearn" how to walk.

Researchers from Arizona State University have enabled a partly disabled man to walk again by implanting electrodes in his lower back. The man still has to use a wheelchair, although his able to walk unaided for several hundred meters. Researchers believe that the impulses from the electrodes combined with regular treadmill sessions have prompted the spinal cord's circuitry to "relearn" how to walk. When the man wants to walk, he simply places a disk on the skin over the electrodes, which receives signals from a remote device. The received signals then stimulate nerves in the spinal cord. Study leader Dr Richard Herman stresses that the technique is not expected to work in people who have severed their spinal cord.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Spinal Cord 2002; 40: 65-68

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