CONTENTS Page 1 – How three paralyzed return to page 2 learned – Electro-stimulation wakes the spinal cord On one side is read
Since time immemorial, the medicine can do little if the spinal cord has been damaged and a person can not control his legs. With road accidents or cancer metastases that press the spinal cord or other diseases every year, 1,000 to 1,500 people in Germany paralyze the cross section. For you, the following applies: The loss of their movements is largely irreversible, can not be corrected.
For decades they do not want to accept doctors. Many dreams of paraplegic people to walk again. How far you are already at this goal, suggests a study that appears in Nature Magazine (Wagner et al., 2018). The authors of the study from the University of Lausanne implanted patients and the electrodes stimulated the spinal cord. In combination with intensive physical therapy, three therapists were able to walk again.
Excitement in walking training
Paralysis of the spine protects the spinal cord. The nerve pathways that originate from the brain and the kinetic commands for transport and such, attract the brain and the senses forward, destroy and cut off the body of nerve cells. Due to the damage to both the mobility of people and your feeling in the affected areas of the body suffers. Just what impact depends on the level of injury. The nerve paths near the cervical spine are cut off, they are mostly paralyzed hands and feet. In addition, the most affected by sensory disorders of the reports from the neck below. The spinal cord in the thoracic spine, or even in the lumbar spine, has been destroyed, usually only the legs or specific muscle groups affected.
In the case of the new study, the latter was the case: The three patients had suffered on average more than four years ago, a spinal cord injury, paralyzed hüftabwärts. The researchers put them in a small surgery for a spinal cord chip, which should stimulate the posterior roots of the spinal cord. This is the area where sensitive fibers, and with them the catheter information and the Lagesinns of the legs enter the spinal cord. For a limited time, when you were walking, the Chip current pulses into underneath the injury to the underlying nerves. In a second, also just published study, the improvement of the group of investigators, such as the stimulus motif (Nature Neuroscience: Wagner et al., 2018), is described.
At the end of a three-day training, there were three patients to spend a mile in a corridor and with AIDS like a walker – even at home. Scientists in Lausanne also developed a mobile version of Spinal Cord Induction via the Tablet and Voice Control, which allowed patients outside of the lab to go for a walk or lead to a recreation.