In our line of work, we see many tragic cases of accident victims suffering from spinal cord injury. Not only do these individuals suffer a permanent reduction in their mobility, they also have issues relating to bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction, among other complications.
Researchers at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center at the University of Louisville have been working on ways to electrically stimulate the spinal cord. In their newly published paper they report that four individuals with complete injuries to the spinal cord have been able to engage in previously impossible voluntary movements using this epidural stimulation.
While far from a ‘cure’ for paralysis, it offers promise for improved quality of life for those suffering from spinal cord injury in the future.