Spinal cord neuromodulation rapidly restores trunk and leg motor functions after complete paralysis

Three people once paralysed by complete spinal-cord injuries can walk, swim, work the pedals of a bicycle and even paddle canoes, thanks to an implant that stimulates neurons in their spinal cords.
Epidural electrical stimulation (EES) targeting the dorsal roots of lumbosacral segments restores walking in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). However, EES is delivered with multielectrode paddle leads that were originally designed to target the dorsal column of the spinal cord.
Within a single day, activity-specific stimulation programs enabled these three individuals to stand, walk, cycle, swim and control trunk movements. Neurorehabilitation mediated sufficient improvement to restore these activities in community settings, opening a realistic path to support everyday mobility with EES in people with SCI.
Author(s)Source
Rowald A, Komi S, Demesmaeker R et al.

 doi: 10.1038/s41591-021-01663-5. Epub 2022 Feb 7

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