10/24/2014

Nerve Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man to Move Legs Again

12:19 minutes

Darek Fidyka lost all movement and feeling below the waist when he was stabbed in the back in 2010. Now he is able to drive a car and walk with a frame, and regained bladder, bowel, and sexual sensation, thanks to a pioneering treatment. Professor Geoffrey Raisman of University College London and his collaborators repaired the gap in Fidyka’s spine with strips of nerve from his ankle and cells from his nasal cavity. Raisman says that while the technique appears to have worked in this case, it’s unclear whether it will translate to patients with more comprehensive spinal injuries.

Segment Guests

Geoffrey Raisman

Geoffrey Raisman is chair of neural regeneration at the Institute of Neurology – Queen Square at the University College London in London, England.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata is Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.