Three people who were once paralysed by complete spinal-cord injuries have been able to walk, swim and even work the pedals of a bike, thanks to a new implant that stimulates the neurons in their spinal cords. In new research published by Nature, a team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have described the implant, which mimics the signals the lower body usually receives from the brain, tackling a form of paralysis that is usually irreversible. The implications of this research are significant – if it can be refined and employed more widely, it’s possible it may be one of the first steps towards solving spinal cord injury.
Spinal-cord paralysis occurs after the spinal cord is severed, disrupting the flow of electrical signals from the brain that tell the body below the injury how to balance and move. This leads to a form of paralysis that is usually irreversible. The chain of motor neurons below the break often remains intact, and so if it is theoretically possible to use electrical impulses to boost or mimic these signals from the brain, they could make the lower half of the body move. This has been the focus of research in this field, with the EPFL team building on their own work from 2018.
Read more at: https://theboar.org/2022/03/paralysed-people-walk-again-due-to-spinal-cord-implant/