Reawakening Limbs After Years of Paralysis
Reporting in the journal Brain, researchers write of reawakening the legs of four men paralyzed from the waist down. They did so by implanting electronic devices in the men’s spines. The devices send out electrical stimulation that re-trains the nerves to listen more carefully for signals, allowing voluntary movements after years of paralysis. Study author Susan Harkema of the University of Louisville and Roderic Pettigrew, director of the National Institute of Bioimaging and Bioengineering, discuss the device and the path towards commercially available treatments.
Susan Harkema is research director of the Frazier Rehab Institute at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky.
Roderic Pettigrew is the director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering in Bethesda, Maryland.