Medical breakthrough paralyzed man walks more than half a mile.
And it is due to new spinal cord implant technology.
And David M’zee walked hands free.
The 30-year old Swiss man was implanted with electrical stimulators compensating for his damaged spinal cord.
It was damaged as the result of a sporting accident.
The spinal cord carries messages from the brain to other parts of the body.
If the spinal cord is damaged the neural signals have troubled getting through.
And that leaves a person paralyzed or disabled.
Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne used electrical implants to bridge the gap in M’zee’s spinal cord.
Those implants allowed messages from his brain to cross his brains damaged area into a non-damaged area.
That area was lower in his spinal cord.
Medical Breakthrough Paralyzed Man Walks
The implants also surprised scientists.
It appears that it was able to repair nerve damage in the spinal cord.
The findings were published in the science journal “Nature.”
“It really works as an amplifier,” lead neuroscientist Grégoire Courtine told Nature. “It’s not that we’re taking over control of the leg. The patients have to do it.”
“In our method, we implant an array of electrodes over the spinal cord which allows us to target individual muscle groups in the legs,” says Lausanne University Hospital neurosurgeon Jocelyne Bloch.
“Selected configurations of electrodes are activating specific regions of the spinal cord, mimicking the signals that the brain would deliver to produce walking.”
The promising treatment shows that the brain and spinal cord can re-establish a connection.
And people can regain some control over parts of the body they had lost use of.
But the treatment is expensive.
And still in the infancy of its development stage.
However, it does promise a bright future for disabled and paralyzed people.
And this is the second time important new medical research is helping paralyzed people.