Friday, June 1, 2012

Rat studies, New Hope for Spine Injuries

NYTimes   Rats with a spinal cord injury that left their hind legs completely paralyzed learned to walk again on their own after an intensive training course that included electrical stimulation of the brain and the spine, scientists reported on Thursday. 

The report, published online on Thursday in the journal Science, provides a striking demonstration of what until recently few scientists thought possible: complete rehabilitation after a disabling blow to the spinal cord. After weeks of training, many of the rats could walk as well as before the injury, and some could run. 

The findings do not apply to all spinal injuries. The animals’ spinal columns were cut without being completely severed; there were still some nerve connections that extended intact through the injured area. But this is also the case for a substantial proportion — perhaps a quarter to a third — of people whose injuries are severe enough to confine them to a wheelchair.

No comments :

Post a Comment

please use either your real name or a pseudonym.