Tag: Epidural Stimulation
The functional sophistication of the spinal cord can have devastating consequences. Will modern scientific developments replicate its functions?
The “central nervous system” delicately orchestrates the complex concerto of our mental and physical faculties, from perception through to action and all the intermediary processes in-between. Such functional sophistication is disturbed in spinal cord injury, which can have devastating short-term and long-term consequences, determined by the level and severity of the injury.
Severe spinal cord injuries (SCIs) — often called complete injuries by clinicians — are ones where no readable signal from the brain reaches the spinal cord beneath the trauma, resulting in total paralysis. The possibility that a patient with this type of severe injury might regain movement was once considered so remote that rehab has traditionally seemed a waste of time.
And yet, in a handful of patients spanning multiple levels of severity, movement is being regained.
University of Louisville researchers are finding ways to help those who suffer catastrophic spinal cord injuries battle other health problems related to their injury.
Kent Stephenson is on a treadmill, working to put one foot in front of the other as a team of trainers helps guide his legs. There’s a harness holding him upright, but Stephenson is, in a sense, walking again — 10 years after a motocross accident left him paralyzed.
“Going off the face of a jump, my motor locked up and I tried to jump away from the bike. It didn’t work for me, I landed and cartwheeled, somersaults and everything,” Stephenson says. “I pretty much knew instantly that I couldn’t move my legs.”
In this video, Joel Burdick peels back the work and strategies that go into making the best algorithms for spinal cord injury stimulation and recovery.
Until now, it was believed that paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury was irreversible. In her provocative talk, Susan Harkema shares breakthrough research showing amazing functionality of the spinal cord, giving people with paralysis new reason for hope.
Two research participants living with traumatic, motor complete spinal cord injury are able to walk over ground thanks to epidural stimulation paired with daily locomotor training. In addition, these and two other participants achieved independent standing and trunk stability when using the stimulation and maintaining their mental focus.
The research, conducted at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville, was published online early and will appear in the Sept. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Spinal cord stimulation and physical therapy have helped a man paralyzed since 2013 regain his ability to stand and walk with assistance. The results, achieved in a research collaboration between Mayo Clinic and UCLA, are reported in Nature Medicine.
With an implanted stimulator turned on, the man, Jered Chinnock, was able to step with a front-wheeled walker while trainers provided occasional assistance.
Patients with severe spinal cord injury (SCI) often experience chronically low blood pressure that negatively affects their health, their quality of life, and their ability to engage in rehabilitative therapy.
“People with severe spinal cord injury – especially when it occurs in a higher level in the spine – have problems with blood pressure regulation to the point that it becomes the main factor affecting quality of life for them,” said Glenn Hirsch, M.D., professor of cardiology at the University of Louisville (UofL). “Some cannot even sit up without passing out. They are forced to use medications, compression stockings, or abdominal binders to maintain an adequate blood pressure.”
An experimental treatment that sends electrical currents through the spinal cord has improved “invisible” yet debilitating side effects for a B.C. man with a spinal cord injury.