Jump to content

Science And The Human Body

Recommended Posts

A US man who was paralysed from the chest down after being hit by a car is now able to stand with electrical stimulation of his spinal cord.


My link


In most spinal cord injuries only a small amount of the tissue is damaged so many nerve cells remain.


The researchers say these cells pick up signals from the legs and respond automatically. This is what allows a healthy person to stand still or walk without actively thinking about it and it is this process the doctors were trying to tap into.


But after a spinal injury the cells need help, in this case precise electric stimulation.


It mimics a message from the brain to start moving and changes the "mood" of the spinal cord so that it is able to hear the information which is coming in from the legs and respond. Researchers say this, coupled with intensive training, allowed Rob to stand or walk while supported on a treamill.


The researchers admit to having "no idea" about how the brain was also able to gain direct control of the toes, knee and hips.


They speculate that some nerve cells are being reactivated or maybe more of them are being created allowed signals from the brain to pass down the spinal cord.


I think its quite amazing how the body can adapt sometimes. Here they stick some electronics in to see if they can get him to walk. The body then decides it will adapt this so he can gain proper feeling in his toes, bladder, knees...


One step closer to 7 of 9

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...