Cutting Edge Science Gets Paralyzed Man Walking

October 16, 2015 | Crandall & Pera Law
Cutting Edge Science Gets Paralyzed Man Walking

The impossible dream of reanimating broken nerve connections just got one step closer to reality. Recent research published in the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation has shown that direct brain control can be used to control the legs after a spinal cord injury. For the first time in this case, scientists are attempting to allow direct brain control of the muscles involved. Scientists in this case used a combination of an electroencephalogram (EEG) system and direct muscle stimulation with electrodes.

The study’s participant has been paralyzed for five years as the result of injury. He is categorized as a paraplegic, and does not have sensation in or the use of his legs. Science Daily said that in preparation for the experiment, “Mental training was initially needed to reactivate the brain's walking ability. Seated and wearing an EEG cap to read his brainwaves, the participant trained to control an avatar in a virtual reality environment. He also required physical training to recondition and strengthen his leg muscles.”

After almost 20 weeks of intensive training, he was able to walk a 12-foot long course with the aid of a body support system. This experiment serves as a proof-of-concept for the neurological community. In time, the researchers hope to use brain implants and implanted electrodes to develop a more seamless version of this technology.

Lead researcher Dr. Zoran Nenadic said, “We hope that... implant[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][s] could achieve an even greater level of prosthesis control because brain waves are recorded with higher quality. In addition, such an implant could deliver sensation back to the brain, enabling the user to feel their legs.”

This experiment is a rare treat for us. We so often bring news of risks and dangers that have lifelong impacts; in this case, we get to tell you that there is hope on the horizon for victims of spinal cord trauma.

However, a full solution may be many years down the road. In the meantime, medical bills and lifestyle changes require compensation. Until we get to the point where simple surgery can repair life-altering injuries, experienced personal injury attorneys are necessary to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic injury with life-altering consequences, we are here to fight for your rights. Visit Crandall & Pera Law at our Kentucky or Ohio locations, or contact us today for a free consultation.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]