Spinal cord stimulation helps with mobility after stroke, researchers say

[Screenshot obtained from Pitt video demonstration]

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University say spinal cord stimulation could improve arm and hand mobility.

This neurotechnology instantly improves arm and hand mobility in those affected by stroke. It could allow those affected by moderate to severe stroke to conduct normal daily activities more easily.

The researchers published their report in Nature Medicine.

According to a news story on the Pitt website, the researchers used a pair of thin, metal electrodes. They implant the electrodes, which resemble strands of spaghetti, along the neck. These electrodes engage intact neural circuits, allowing stroke patients to fully open and close their fist. Patients also may lift their arm above their head or use a fork and knife to cut a piece of steak.

“We discovered that electrical stimulation of specific spinal …

Read more
  • 0

Paralyzed patients walk, swim and cycle with spinal cord neuromodulation implant

The spinal cord stimulating electrodes are implanted directly on the spinal cord, below the vertebrae. [Image courtesy of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne]

The latest iteration of a spinal cord stimulation implant has allowed three paralyzed patients to take steps independently on a treadmill within a day of their device’s activation, and to stand, walk, swim and even pedal a bicycle after five months of rehab.

In 2018, the technology helped a patient get out of his wheelchair and walk after being paralyzed by a partial spinal cord injury, but the latest results helped three men with complete spinal cord injuries walk again beyond the walls of the lab.

“Our stimulation algorithms are still based on imitating nature,” system co-developer Grégoire Courtine, a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, said today in a news release. “And our new, soft impla…

Read more
  • 0