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Spinal cord injury victims may benefit from stimulation tool

Serious spinal cord injuries in West Virginia can unfortunately alter the way a person lives by preventing him or her from being able to walk or do other basic activities. However, spinal cord stimulation might be able to improve the recovery of patients who have a severe spinal cord injury. This clinical tool is early in the development process.

Researchers in a recent study looked at two patients who went through stimulation of the spinal cord. The procedure was completed a couple of years after their initial injuries. While going through the treatment, the two patients showed that they were able to move the lower part of the body in response to verbal commands.

When the stimulation of the spinal cord was switched off, voluntary movement was able to be detected. Scientists found that proper function of the toe and ankle muscles was accomplished during testing using the epidural stimulation. This treatment might be more helpful in those with injuries that are less severe than those of the two patients who participated in the recent study.

Although it can be vexing to live with a spinal cord injury, scientific developments may make it easier for these individuals to have a better quality of life. Still, such a life-altering injury could have been prevented if it was the result of the negligence of another individual, such as a careless driver. The injured party might decide to sue this other individual; competent proof of negligence is necessary to establish liability in this type of civil court case in West Virginia.

Source: healio.com, "Spinal cord stimulation may improve complete spinal cord injury outcomes", Dec. 15, 2014

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