Paralysed Man Is Able To Walk Again Because of Spinal Implant
A Man who was left paralysed following a tragic snowmobile accident, is now able to stand and walk for the first time in 5 years. With assistance, he was able to take his first steps because of a new therapy that reactivates the spinal cord.
Mayo Clinic and UCLA collaborated to develop the therapy which required an implant in his spinal canal to reactivate the spinal cord circuits.
This is the first time a patient has been able to stand and walk again after having chronically-dormant human spinal cord circuits revived.
Dr Kendell Lee, co-principal investigator, neurosurgeon and director of the Mayo Clinic’s Neural Engineering Laboratories says that, “What this is teaching us is that those networks of neurons below a spinal cord injury still can function after paralysis.”
The US native can now walk using a walker and occasional aid from trainers with the device, and can switch the device on or off with a remote control.
Previously researchers thought that neurons in the spinal cord couldn’t function after paralysis, but this turned out not to be the case. This new implant will offer hope to people with spinal cord injuries.