Spinal Cord Stimulation Can Result in Voluntary Movement for Paralyzed Patients, Study Finds

Written by Anuja Vaidya | April 08, 2014 | Print  |


A new study published in Brain shows that paralyzed spinal cord injury patients may be able to regain voluntary movement in their legs and feet, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Neuromodulating the spinal circuitry with epidural stimulation combined with physical therapy has resulted in three individuals being able to wiggle their toes, flex their legs and even stand independently for moments at a time. Two of the three individuals had complete paraplegia and previously could not move at all.


The study was conducted by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Louisville (Ky.), who implanted spinal-cord stimulators made by Medtronic into the three paralyzed individuals, according to the report.


"We have uncovered a fundamentally new intervention strategy that can dramatically affect recovery of voluntary movement in individuals with complete paralysis even years after injury," noted the study authors.

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