April 08, 2014
It's A Miracle!
Doctors in the US have discovered a way that may one day help paralyzed patients recover....as in walk again.
Four paralysed men have been able to move their legs for the first time in years after electrical stimulation of their spinal cords, US doctors report.
They were able to flex their toes, ankles and knees - but could not walk independently.
A team at the University of Louisville and the University of California have been pioneering electrical stimulation of the spinal cord below the injury.
Three years ago they reported that Rob Summers - a keen baseball player who was paralysed from the chest down in a hit-and-run car accident - was able to move his legs while supported on a treadmill.
Now three more patients, who had been paralysed for at least two years, have gone through the procedure and regained some movement.
They were able to control their legs at a precise pace and all but one of them were able to control the force of the movement.
It confirms that function can be restored after paralysis and that Mr Summers' case was not a one-off.
One of the researchers, Dr Claudia Angeli from the University of Louisville, told the BBC: "They will tell you that the stimulation itself and being able to practise and move around makes them feel a lot better, some of them will just describe it as feeling alive again."
The Dark Lord was born into a world with an uncle who was paralyzed from his mid-biceps down as the result of a car accident when he was but a young pup of 18. At the time, late 40's, he was given less than 18 months to live. He outlasted that prediction by over 50 years when age and complications from his extended paralysis finally brought an end to his well-lived life. Still, I can't help but think how much more he could have experienced had he not been trapped in a chair or bed, and it elates me to no end that his may one day not be the fate of others.
Posted by DL Sly at April 8, 2014 01:37 PM
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It is truly a blessing to be living in the future.
Now where's my flying car!
Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 8, 2014 04:42 PM
Not to mention transporters.
Spaceball, proof, of course.
Posted by: DL Sly at April 8, 2014 05:00 PM
Yu-Ain -- Flying cars are probably now (slowly) on their way as the quad-copters get larger and smarter and larger and .... Even now, you could put on a suit with a bunch of attachment points and have a flock of quad-copters carry you about. Not a Jetson car, but we're getting there.
The success in repeating the experiment, oh, my.
Posted by: htom at April 8, 2014 09:36 PM
This is reminiscent of work that Dr. Jerry Petrofsky did at Wright State University back around 1978 - 1982. His biggest success was with Nan Davis. They made a TV movie about it called "First Steps".
And then Jerry's research died out when he got a position out in California.
I hope for the sake of many paraplegics that this goes somewhere.
Posted by: Don Brouhaha at April 8, 2014 10:22 PM
Medical science advances amaze me.
Posted by: CAPT Mike at April 8, 2014 10:36 PM
"The success in repeating the experiment, oh, my."
Yes, htom, that was what got me excited as well.
"Medical science advances amaze me."
Me, as well, CAPT, and, sadly, it seems to make it's biggest leaps and bounds during times of war. So much truth in the saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention."
Posted by: DL Sly at April 9, 2014 01:05 PM