For years now, researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne have been working on a groundbreaking approach to reverse paralysis in people with spinal cord injuries, by reactivating dormant neurons with electrical stimulation. The treatment has now taken a massive leap forward, thanks to new findings published in Nature Medicine in which vertebrae implants restored the ability to walk and move around in three paralyzed patients—all in just a matter of hours. “All three patients were able to stand, walk, pedal, swim and control their torso movements in just one day, after their implants were activated,” Grégoire Courtine, a neuroscientist at EPFL and senior author of the new study, said in a press release. Past versions of the implants have successfully helped paralyzed patients to some extent. But the newest versions tested in this study utilize an AI-powered software that automatically applies stimulation in specific ways based on the patient’s own injury as well as what kind of physical activity they’re looking to do. That opens up a wider range of possible movements. Each of the three patients were able to not just walk around, but also cycle around in a moving vehicle and swim in the water. All patients have to do is select a . . . read the full article here.
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