"Spinal Implant Could Be Breakthrough For Paralyzed Patients" - Dennis Thompson
A paraplegic man has regained the ability to move his legs and walk with assistance, thanks to an implanted electrode stimulating his spinal cord. Surgeons implanted the electrode below the level of 29-year-old Jered Chinnock's spinal cord injury. A 2013 snowmobile crash left Chinnock with complete loss of motor control and sensation below the middle of his back. It's possible that despite the injury, there remain some residual intact nerve fibers capable of transmitting brain signals to the legs. If that's the case, the brain likely is sending signals to re-stimulated nerves farther down the spinal cord that are specifically tied to walking, said Brian Kopell, MD, director of the Center for Neuromodulation at the Mount Sinai Health System. "We are beginning to understand there are specific hard-wired circuits related to walking in the spinal cord itself," said Dr. Kopell, who wasn't involved with the study. "The brain works in conjunction with these locomotive sectors in the spinal cord to create the behavior we know as walking."
- Brian Kopell, MD, Professor, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, Neurology, Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Center of Neuromodulation at Mount Sinai Health System