Advances in medicine continue to give people with catastrophic injuries hope that they will be able to return to their old lives. Some spinal cord injury treatments would have seemed impossible only several years ago.
A new spinal cord injury treatment being developed by the University of Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and San Diego State University might help repair function to paralyzed limbs. These three institutions have received $16 million from the National Science Foundation to develop the new treatment over the next four years.
How does it work? This new treatment uses an implantable device to pick up signals from the brain that tell the nervous system to allow movement of certain limbs. To be more specific, the treatment uses a device that can pick up and decode brain signals, then send information to specific areas of the body damaged by a spinal cord injury or stroke.
Researchers are hoping to test this treatment on people in the next 8 to 10 years. However, some milestones for building a working device will take time. For example, the researchers claim they must first develop software to decipher brain signals.
What Other Spinal Cord Injury Treatments Can Offer Hope?
As we stated earlier, some new spinal cord injury treatments would have seemed impossible only a short time ago. One of those treatments uses an exoskeleton to help people with paralysis walk. The ReWalk exoskeleton, which comes with an enormous price tag of $77,000, recently won FDA approval. This device works by using motorized joints and sensing the balance of the person using it.
These treatments are only two of many. Even though some of these treatments are years away from being perfected, they can provide hope that significant breakthroughs in treating spinal cord injuries will occur within our lifetimes.
Galloway Jefcoat, LLP is a Lafayette personal injury law firm with decades of experience helping accident survivors.