Researchers use new method to help paralyzed patients walk again

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Researchers have tested a new technique using electrical stimulation on the spinal cords of paralyzed patients to help them walk again.

A device called the epidural stimulator was implanted over a portion of the lower spinal cord, according a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The device itself does not move the legs for the person, however it enables the neurons and nerves to be stimulated and receive signals the brain used to send before the patients became paralyzed.

The device has the ability to be turned on and off by a touch of a button.

The patients were also required to undergo intensive physical therapy along with electrical stimulation, and were taught how to train their bodies and minds on how to move again.

A participant of the study says the stimulator helped restore functions of the body such as bladder control and regaining muscle mass.

A researcher told The Washington Post, the study shows that the brain "has the capability of relearning to walk in the right conditions."

The study was conducted with 14 paralyzed patients, with only three being able to regain the ability the walk.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. The epidural stimulator is seen being added on to the spinal cord.
2. The neurons and nerves are seen being stimulated.
3. The patient is seen undergoing intensive physical therapy combined with electrical stimulation.
4. The device helps restore some body functions such as bladder control and muscle mass.

VOICEOVER (in English):
"According a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a device called the epidural stimulator was implanted over a portion of the lower spinal cord."

"The device itself does not move the legs for the person, however it enables the neurons and nerves to be stimulated and receive signals the brain used to send before the patients became paralyzed."

"The patients were also required to undergo intensive physical therapy along with electrical stimulation, and were taught how to train their bodies and minds on how to move again."

"A participant of the study says the stimulator helped restore functions of the body such as bladder control and regaining muscle mass."

SOURCES: The Washington Post, CNN, Reuters, The Verge, CBS News,
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2018/09/24/paralyzed-people-are-beginning-walk-with-new-kind-therapy/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f2bf100b55ee

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/09/24/health/paralyzed-woman-walks-again/index.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-paralysis/electrode-treatment-physical-therapy-combination-lets-two-paralyzed-people-walk-again-idUSKCN1M41UY

https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/24/17896720/paralysis-spinal-cord-implant-walking-epidural-stimulation-device

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/experimental-device-helps-paralyzed-man-walk-the-length-of-four-football-fields/