It's hard to contain our enthusiasm but researchers at UCLA just announced the results of a groundbreaking trial they have conducted involving six people with severe cases of spinal cord injury who have regained use of their hands and fingers for the first time in years after undergoing a nonsurgical, noninvasive spinal stimulation procedure the researchers developed.
The most remarkable part of this study involves the ease of implementing it on the subjects of the study. The researchers placed electrodes on the skin to stimulate the circuitry of the spinal cord. They call their method “transcutaneous enabling motor control,” or tEmc. In the stimulation, electrical current is applied at varying frequencies and intensities to specific locations on the spinal cord.
At the beginning of the study, three of the participants could not move their fingers at all, and none could turn a doorknob with one hand or twist a cap off a plastic water bottle. Each of them also had great difficulty using a cellphone. After only eight researcher-led training sessions with the spinal stimulation, all six individuals showed substantial improvements. The study participants had chronic and severe paralysis for more than one year, and some for more than 10 years.
In addition to regaining use of their fingers, the research subjects also gained other health benefits, including improved blood pressure, bladder function, cardiovascular function and the ability to sit upright without support.
You can read the full article HERE.