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Scientists Restore Leg Movement in Paralyzed Monkeys

Posted 9 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2016 – Using a wireless brain-spinal connection, scientists report they restored leg movement in paralyzed monkeys. This is the first time this type of system – called a neural prosthetic – has restored walking movement directly to the legs of nonhuman primates (a pair of rhesus macaques), according to the researchers. "The system we have developed uses signals recorded from the motor cortex of the brain to trigger coordinated electrical stimulation of nerves in the spine that are responsible for locomotion," said study co-lead author David Borton. He is an assistant professor of engineering at Brown University in Providence, R.I. "With the system turned on, the animals in our study had nearly normal locomotion," he said in a university news release. The research could lead to the development of similar systems for people with spinal cord injuries, the scientists ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Spinal Cord Trauma, Diagnosis and Investigation, Paralytic Disorder

'Brain Training' Helps 8 Paralyzed People Regain Some Movement

Posted 11 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2016 – A regimen of brain training has restored partial sensation and muscle control in the legs of eight people paralyzed by spinal cord injuries, researchers report. The step-by-step training appears to jump-start the connection between brain and body through the use of virtual reality walking simulations, specially designed exoskeletons and tactile feedback, said senior researcher Dr. Miguel Nicolelis. He is director of the Duke University Center for Neuroengineering. Weekly training with these machines re-awakened undamaged but unused spinal cord nerves that had survived the car crashes, falls and other accidents that caused paralysis, he said. "These patients didn't have any movement of their limbs and they didn't have any tactile feeling below the level of their injury," Nicolelis said. "After one year of training, half of these patients had to be reclassified ... Read more

Related support groups: Spinal Cord Trauma, Diagnosis and Investigation, Paralytic Disorder

Paralyzed Man Walks Using Technology That Bypasses Spinal Cord

Posted 24 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2015 – A paralyzed 26-year-old man has walked for the first time in five years, thanks to an electrical system that connects his brain and legs, bypassing his injured spine, researchers are reporting. The unidentified man is the first person to show that a system like this might help people with a spinal cord injury regain some ability to walk, the researchers said. "The work does offer exciting promise," said Randy Trumbower, an assistant professor in the department of rehabilitation medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, who was not involved with the research. That said, it "must overcome several hurdles before it may be applicable to a broad population of persons with spinal cord injury," he added. Study authors An Do and Zoran Nenadic, both at the University of California, Irvine, said they don't yet know how the system will work in a larger ... Read more

Related support groups: Spinal Cord Trauma, Chronic Spasticity, Central Nervous System Disorders, Paralytic Disorder

Lip Injections May Ease Challenges of Facial Paralysis

Posted 18 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 18, 2015 – People with facial paralysis may benefit from cosmetic lip surgery, a preliminary study finds. Facial paralysis is "a very large problem that can occur because of stroke, Bell's palsy, muscular dystrophy, trauma and birth defects," Dr. Kofi Boahene, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a university news release. Poor lip control caused by facial paralysis can cause drooling, spillage of food and drink, and difficulty making sounds that require fully closing the lips, such as the letters "b" and "p." Many of these people are also self-conscious about their appearance, Boahene said. He and his colleagues worked with 22 people who had facial paralysis on one side of the mouth and three people with muscular dystrophy who had lost control of both sides of the mouth. The patients were given ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Paralytic Disorder, Facial Lipoatrophy

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