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Bike Stimulator Helping Patients with Spine Injuries

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It looks like a cross between an abdominal exerciser and a stationary bike, but it’s a revolutionary approach to treating patients with spinal cord injuries.

Designed and constructed by two graduate students in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Engineering, this device, called “Neuro Mechano Stimulator Pedals,” stimulates mechano-receptors on the lateral ridge of the sole of the foot. The hypothesis behind this device development is that simultaneous stimulation of sensory inputs and spinal reflexes may lead to neuroplasticity, causing generation of new neural pathways in the spine.

“NASA has been using special shoes to stimulate the mechanoreceptors of the foot sole for astronauts to compensate for the void of stimulation due to being in zero-gravity; hence enabling them to walk normally when they get back to earth,” says Zahra Moussavi, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Manitoba. “What we’ve done here is to use that idea, combine it with other sensory input stimulation, and apply it to patients with spinal cord injuries.”

The first eight-week trial of this device is coming to a close, with patients reporting a noticeable and liberating improvement in their mobility. “When I began the program I was using a walker, and tiring quickly,” says Rod, a patient who has suffered a spinal cord injury for 11 years. “Now I’m able to walk without my walker!” Fellow patient, Carry, had difficulty walking and standing due to her spinal cord injury. She can now stand longer, walk easier, and even dance again!

To learn more about this exciting new device, and to see it in action, you are invited to:

What: Demonstration of New Device, Meet Patients and Researchers
Where: Room #RR267, Rehab Hospital, 820 Sherbrook St., Health Sciences Centre
When: Monday, April 25th, 2011, at 1:00 pm


  1. Hello Doctor,

    Good day.
    I am RK.Maheshwary (Age;62 years.) residing in Ahmedabad,
    Western part of India. Sir, I am suffering from incurable disease,
    Namely MOTORE NERON DISEASE./ALS. (It is Neurology problem)
    For your information I am giving hereunder the details of my
    Incurable disease, I have noticed certain abnormalities in the
    functioning of limbs that are; ( I am taking the only medicine RILUZOLE tablets)

    (1) Grip of my hands had become very week to such extend that
    I found it difficult to put the buttons in its holes.
    (2) There is change in my handwriting, my writing has deteriorated.
    (3) I started breathing heavily during my walks. I cannot undertake
    long walks, as I experience breathlessness and Fatigue.
    (4) Slurred speech, my speech is affected like anything.
    (5) Recently I have started experiencing pain in the nerves all over body.
    (6) Muscle twitching and Cramps.
    (7) Difficulty swallowing.

    For Motor Neuron Disease, Stem Cell Treatment in your country is possible and
    What are the success rate, cost and duration of time to stay there. If positively
    respond then Provide a contact of patients those who have taken treatments from
    you AND cure. New findings in the research of motor neuron disease (MND)
    I recently came to know that there is a treatment of stem cells technology. Can we take this treatment?
    How effective it is? What are its side effects? Please advise.

    Thanks for everything,

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