A new spinal cord research breakthrough may help paralyzed patients regain mobility, CNN News reports. Researchers intended to use electrical stimulation to spinal cords to understand more about nerve pathways. When Susan Harkema turned her back to her patient, however, the patient began to move his toe — voluntarily. “It’s not the first time electrical stimulation has made paralyzed patients move, but Harkema says it’s the first time electrical stimulation directly to the spinal cord has shown voluntary activity.” The device, which involves surgically implanting a stimulator and giving it directions with an external remote control, has now been used in 9 patients and has allowed them to do physical activities such as moving their toes, lifting and swinging their legs and even sit-ups. “‘Maybe the spinal cord makes the decision to move on its own and then executes the movement’ Harkema says.”
Featured image was taken from the CNN story.