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Spinal cord injury patients may benefit from new technology

One day, a person may be able to go for a daily run or enjoy a night out on the town in West Virginia, without giving these activities a second thought. However, in a moment, the ability to move one’s lower extremities may be snatched away as a result of a spinal cord injury. Although paralysis may be a discouraging reality for such a person, new research may make it possible to treat paralysis within the next five years.

Rehabilitation programs can help to limit damage and restore some movement for spinal cord accident victims. Unfortunately, though, there is no cure for restoring the full function of a person’s legs, hands or arms. New research, however, is trying to change that by stimulating the spinal cord. This stimulation has been used to help paralyzed hands to become mobile again, thus giving patients hope that other parts of their bodies will regain motion in the future as well.

Paralysis takes place when the signal is not getting through from one’s brain to one’s muscles. The new technology essentially restores that connection by exploiting neural networks beneath the area of injury. This means that the ability to perform natural actions, such as grasping something, is activated.

A new implant that links the muscles to the brain may be ready for patients in the next few years to help not only with spinal cord injury but also with stroke. This news might provide comfort for victims of spinal cord injuries who are seeking to live more of a normal life in the years to come. If the injury resulted from a car accident for which someone else was at-fault due to negligent behavior, the patient has the right to file a personal injury claim against the other party. A successful result in West Virginia may lead to an award of financial damages, which may help with the medical expenses and related costs tied to the injury.

Source:, "Spinal Cord Stimulation Could Restore Movement In Paralyzed Extremities Within 5 Years", Justin Caba, May 21, 2014

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