Paralyzed man regains some motion through new spinal cord treatment — 3 insights


An experimental spinal cord treatment at Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville has helped a paralyzed man regain some motion 10 years after his motocross injury, reports WBUR.

Three insights:

1. Susan Harkema, MD, director at KSCIRC, has opened the door for patients to regain some motion and physiological functions without repairing the neurological gap caused by the spinal cord itself.

2. Kent Stephenson is one of 21 people to receive the epidural stimulator treatment, which utilizes an electrical current to stimulate the lower section of a patient's spinal cord.

3. Dr. Harkema's work has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, and she hopes FDA approval will allow device companies and insurers to advance the treatment's reach.

Dr. Harkema says she is seeking "incremental victories over paralysis," not a cure for spinal cord injuries.

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