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Health

Stimulating The Spinal Cord With Pulse Generator Can Help Injured People Walk Again: Study

Friday 02/November/2018 - 09:14 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
Stimulation of the spinal cord using implanted pulse generator has allowed three men to regain control of their leg muscles and walk again with some assistance، as the Technical Times said.
The new technique developed by Grégoire Courtine، a neuroscientist at the Swiss Federal Institute، and his team is called epidural electrical stimulation. It is still in its early stages but، so far، it has corrected spinal-cord injuries in patients of varying stages of paralysis.
Injuries to the spinal cord are caused by either a traumatic blow to the spine or a serious disease such as cancer. Because it disrupts the connection between the brain and the spinal cord، injuries can lead to motor and sensory deficits or، sometimes، paralysis.
However، in most cases، a person who has an injured spinal cord do not completely lose that connection between brain and motor neurons. There are some connections still intact، but might not be enough to allow mobility.
Courtine's epidural electrical stimulation works in such cases. During the study، they used electrical stimulation to give motor neurons extra excitement and boost the remaining connections to the brain.
The electric stimulation comes from a device implanted in the patient who experiences motor impairment due to spinal cord injury. First، the team had to map out areas of the spinal cord involved in walking. Then، the device sends electrical signals to the areas needed to facilitate movement. The exact timing and location of the electrical signal are crucial in producing the intended movement.

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