Authors: Sharon Salt, Editor
In a research collaboration between the Mayo Clinic (MN, USA) and the University of California Los Angeles (CA, USA), scientists have reported that spinal cord stimulation and physical therapy have helped a man – who has been paralyzed since 2013 – regain his ability to stand and walk with assistance.
With an implanted stimulator turned on, the man was able to step with a front-wheeled walker while trainers provided occasional assistance. He made 113 rehabilitation visits to the Mayo Clinic over a year, and achieved the following milestones:
- Total distance: 102 meters
- Total number of steps: 331
- Total minutes walking with assistance: 16
- Step speed: 0.20 meters per second
“What this is teaching us is that those networks of neurons below a spinal cord injury still can function after paralysis,” commented Kendall Lee (Mayo Clinic), co-principal investigator of the study.