Spinal stimulator shows promise for improved hand function in spinal injury patient

Written by Jonathan Wilkinson

A 28-year-old man has become one of the world’s first patients to undergo the successful implantation of an experimental spinal stimulator to improve hand strength and movement; the surgery was performed at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (CA, USA) and aimed to restore motor function lost as the result of a dirt-bike accident 5 years ago. The surgeons positioned the 32-electrode stimulator near the C-5 vertebrae in the middle of Brian Gomez’s neck, which was just below where the spinal injury occurred. Although alternative devices have shown promise in treating paralysis, they have generally only been used in animal models...

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