Swiss Scientists Teach Paralyzed Rats To Walk

Swiss Scientists used a mixture of devices, drugs, training and therapy to get paralyzed rats to walk and even run again.

What happened to the rats?

Ten rats were paralyzed at the beginning of the study. Their spinal cords were partially severed at two separate but neighboring sites.

What did the scientists use to get the rats to walk?

  • Serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine were injected into the spinal cord.
  • A set of electrodes supplied a continuous flow of electrical energy near the site of the break in the spinal cord to stimulate the regrowth of the neural cells. Another device supported the rats and taught the legs to move.
  • A training course was used as therapy.

What was the result?

Amazingly after 10 weeks, all ten walked again!

Read more about this study, or read about exoskeletons for wheelchair users.