Monday, May 30, 2011

Spinal Implants Allow Paraplegic To Walk

There have been many announcements about exoskeletons allowing wheelchair users to walk. But the Lancet has reported how Rob Summers, a paraplegic has been enabled to stand again using an experimental procedure, devised primarily by UCLA neurobiologist V. Reggie Edgerton. According to MIT Technology Review:

The therapy consisted of a stimulator device originally designed to treat chronic pain, which was implanted near the spinal cord.


Watch Prof Susan Harkema, from Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center discuss how this new procedure works:

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This is still early days for this therapy and while it is hopeful that such stimulation can help, exoskeletons may be more likely to help in the short term. Read more about exoskeletons for wheelchair users.