Real deal SCI treatment unveiledMay 20 03:13
From Schwann cells to embryonic stems cells, a SCI cure has been looked at by all angles. But never before has a lumbar implant been used on complete SCI survivors successfully. This latest experiment re-trains nerves that control the legs, and other paralyzed parts of the body. The lucky guy who dared take part in this experiment was 25 year old ex-baseball player, Rob Summers. He put his life on-hold for 2 years to dedicate himself to the experiment, and the therapy that was required afterwards. And in the end it was all worth it.
The nerves in Summer’s legs have slowly been reawakened thanks to the implant, daily therapy and locomotor gait training. He’s regained the ability to stand (he needs a walker still. Still not functional enough to get him fully walking 24/7), move his legs on command, his toes, and he’s even noticed more abdominal strength returning. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation sponsored the experiment, and the results were published by The Lancet (read the announcement here).
And the most exciting part about Summer‘s recovery? He’s been seeing more results than just leg muscle control. Summers says he’s also re-gained bladder control, sexual control and the ability to sweat. That means he’s getting sensation back, without his spinal cord - brain connection, and that is simply amazing.
Who would of guessed this would end up as the forerunner of viable SCI “cures” to actually put our hopes on? Not me. I’ve always had a hard time believing a SCI could ever be cured without repairing the injury site. Isn’t the brain 100% required for the legs to fire by your control? This monumental experiment has proven otherwise.
And what else does this experiment reveal other than the fact that it was success? It reveals just how little we still don’t know about the workings of the human nervous system, and if you ask me, that’s actually a good thing.
Photo courtesy of Marlon E.
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1. Lucie Thibodeau | Jul 05 05:39
this is wonderful news...now my son Jason 24 was involved in a motocross accident in April 2009 left him paralised...broke T5 T6 was wondering if there is a list for people that would be willing to try this treatment and what's the cost and where is this done ...how does it work..would love more information on this.... Thank you Sincerely Lucie (MOm ) my only wish is to see Jason walk again... :)
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.