A paralyzed man was once again able to use his legs with help from a spinal cord stimulating device. This latter was created and developed by researchers at the Mayo Clinic. With help from this electrical stimulation, the man was able to move his legs, stand up, and even make step-like motions.
The beneficiary of this experimental therapy is a 26-years old man. Three years ago, he lost all movement and feeling below the middle of his torso as he injured the 6th thoracic vertebrate.
He then agreed to take part in this experimental study carried out by the Mayo Clinic Neural Engineering Laboratory. This was led by Dr. Kendall Lee and released its initial results in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
The Paralyzed Man Is Still In The Early Recovery Stages But Is Showing Progress
According to the report, the paralyzed man had to undergo 22 weeks of physical therapy. These were necessary as he had to prepare his muscles for movement during the future spinal cord stimulation. Following this step, the researchers theorized that some of the connections across his injury may still be intact, though dormant.
As such, the patient then went into surgery as the team implanted an electrode in his epidural space, below his injury, and near his spinal cord. The electrode was then linked to a computer-controlled device. This can send an electrical current to the spinal cord. In its turn, this enables the patient to once again create movement.
Following the post-surgery recovery period, the man was once again able to move his leg and make step-like motions as he was on his side. He was also capable of standing, both with some support, by using bars for balance, and on his own.
“We’re really excited because our results went beyond our expectations.” This is according to Dr. Kendall Lee, a neurosurgeon, and director of the Mayo Clinic’s Neural Engineering Laboratory.
Image Source: Pixabay
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