Researchers Have Found Ways to Achieve 'Partial Recovery' for People with Spinal Cord Injuries
Damage or trauma to the spinal cord is one of the most difficult injuries to recover from, especially when you consider that a lot of people who suffer from this type of injury are usually left paralyzed. Even if a person was lucky enough to not be paralyzed, it would still take months of intensive and difficult physical therapy for them to regain the use of their limbs. Doctors, scientists, and researchers are constantly looking for ways to help people regain the use of their arms and legs in an easier and more efficient manner.
According to a report from NPR, a group of researchers based in Brazil have made a shocking and ultimately game changing discovery. They have found out that "injured people doing brain training while interacting with robot-like machines were able to regain some sensation and movement." This could potentially mean that people who have been paralyzed as a result of spinal cord injuries can have nerves in that area "retrained."
The article suggests that this makes use of the same ideology that people who suffer from brain damage due to a stroke can regain some use of it through practice and repetition. The study was not able to help the 8 subjects it had fully regain the use of their legs with enough force to support their own body weight. However, Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, a Duke University neuroscientist and physician who led the research, has come out and said that his experimental subjects have made what he refers to as "partial recovery."
After undergoing the experimental treatment, the subjects were said to have much better control of their bowel and bladder functions. Some men were even able to have erections. What's even more surprising is that one woman decided to deliver a baby in the "normal" way after receiving treatment.
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