Scientists returned to the paralyzed man the ability to walk

One of the worst injuries for any person is paralysis. A condition in which there is loss of motor activity of one, multiple limbs or the entire body. This can happen for a variety of reasons and not always is the condition treatable. However, according to the edition of Nature Medicine, a combined group of neuroscientists from the United States and Russia managed to do the impossible — to return to a paralyzed man the ability to walk independently.

In the experiment, was lucky enough to attend the man paralyzed in consequence of falling from a snowmobile 2 years ago. For such patients there are different experimental techniques, which are mainly based on the use of stem cells, but in this situation, the experts decided to go the other way. As stated by one of the authors Kendall Lee, working at the Mayo clinic (USA)

“We used a pacemaker, and, interestingly, it was originally intended for other purposes, namely, to relieve of chronic pain syndrome.”

Together with their colleagues from the St. Petersburg Institute of physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences Pavlov, experts from the United States developed a unique methodology based on the fact that even with significant spinal damage part of the nerve fiber retains its function. They do not participate in physical activity, but they can “switch” to other tasks. Electrical stimulation of these neurons with a special chip along with the training with the use of a special exoskeleton to help fully regain mobility. At least, in experiments on laboratory animals have succeeded. Now this approach has been experienced in the person.

“Just two weeks the patient learned to stand and move his legs in the exoskeleton. Partial rehabilitation took 44 weeks. Now the patient can stand still, walk on a treadmill and walk without the aid of medical personnel.”

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