UCLA Medical Center researchers testing experimental SCI stimulator: 5 observations

Megan Wood -   Print  |

Los Angeles-based Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center researchers are analyzing the efficacy of electrical spinal stimulation for restoring hand strength and movement in patients with cervical spinal cord injuries, according to Health Canal.

Here are five observations:


1. The researchers implant the 32-electode stimulator below the site of a patient's SCI at the C-5 vertebrae.


2. This experiment differs from other stimulator studies, as surgeons implant the device in the patient's spine as opposed to the brain and is intended to enhance the patient's ability to move his own hands.


3. The researchers also implant a battery pack and processing unit beneath the patient's skin on his lower back, so the patient and physicians may remotely control the stimulation's frequency and intensity.


4. The UCLA researchers reported a 300 percent increase in finger mobility and grip strength in patients with this experimental stimulator.


5. NIH's National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering funded the research.


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