News on Wellness

There Is Hope for People Paralyzed By Spinal-Cord Injuries

In one of the most recent studies conducted on people paralyzed by spinal cord injuries, it was found that they could regain voluntary movement in their legs and feet. This is possible even years after the actual date of injury according to researchers.

With a combined effort of electrical stimulus and rigorous physical therapy have, in the past helped 3 men to with paraplegia wiggle their toes and ankles. After this therapy they were able to flex their legs and stand independently for short periods of time. This was according to a study published in the online medical journal Brain.

What was even more shocking is that the treatment actually worked with 2 patients with the most complete type of paraplegia. Prior to the treatment they were unable to move their lower bodies and did not even have any sensation in it. These findings seem to be crucial as they tell us that the brain is still capable to sending messages to the spinal cord in most cases where the doctors feel like all sensation and links are list. In the US alone there are almost 273,000 people living with spinal-cord injuries. The lifetime cost of treating such a injury is approximately $2.26 million! This is given that the person is diagnosed as a paraplegic at the average age of 25.

Vinod Labhasetwar, a scientist at the Cleveland Clinic says that there needs to be more research done to show that people who are paraplegic benefit from this kind of therapy in the long run. It is a possibility that the spinal cord may not respond in the same way to prolonged electrical stimulation.

Having said that, the study is a major breakthrough in finding out that even though people are paralyzed, there is hope for them to gain motor function and improve their life by approximately two years or even more. “This is now an additional three patients, so it is really strengthening the concept that this can work,” Dr. Beattie said. “It opens up the possibility that these connections that were thought not to be there could actually improve function.”

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