Spinal Stimulation Enables Three People With Paraplegia to Walk Again

  • October 31, 2018
    David, 28, can walk with a walker for more then 1 kilometer with electrical stimulation turned on.
    Composite photos: Hillary Sanctuary/EPFL
    David, 28, who suffered a spinal cord injury, can walk (with a walker) for more than 1 kilometer with electrical stimulation turned on.

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    Three men with paraplegia are able to walk after being treated with electrical stimulation of their spinal cords. The treatment, combined with physical therapy, enabled the men to overcome years-old spinal cord injuries that had paralyzed their leg muscles. 

    Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, who conducted the experiments, announced the results today in a pair of papers in Nature and Nature Neuroscience. Combined with recent efforts from other groups in the area of spinal stimulation, the work suggests that paralysis, once considered an incurable condition, is perhaps treatable.

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