In the field of personal injury law, the right lawyer can help accident victims get the compensation they deserve for serious injuries caused by negligence. And now, exciting new medical developments can miraculously help some victims regain lost function—helping spinal cord injury victims walk again.
Three men—paralyzed from the waist down due to motorcycle accidents many years ago—have been able to regain the function of their legs thanks to a new spinal stimulation device. Surgically-implanted electrodes send signals to the lower-body muscles, allowing for this medical miracle.
In fully-functioning people, the brain sends electrical signals to the spinal cord, which then stimulate nerve cells to activate different muscles. However, in spinal cord injury victims, the brain’s signals can’t reach the nerves.
With the new device, the electrodes, implanted on the spine, send the signals that would otherwise have been interrupted by the spinal cord injury. The electrical signals are able to replicate the brain’s signals, for example, for “stand”, “walk”, or “pedal”.
In the study published in the journal Nature Medicine, the patient or doctor were able to trigger the signals using a touchscreen tablet with artificial intelligence. Depending on the specific signature of the electrical signal sent, the patients were able to walk, cycle and swim.
“Patients can select the desired activity on the tablet,” said one of the study leads, neuroscientist Grégoire Courtine, “and the corresponding protocols are relayed to the pacemaker in the abdomen.”
“I was able to see my legs moving, and it was very emotional,” said Michel Roccati, one of the spinal cord victims in the study. “I am free.”
Our new @NatureMedicine publication is released! A purposed-buit stimulation technology designed by @onwdempowered that rapidly restores trunk and leg motor functions
after complete paralysis.
— NeuroRestore.swiss (@_NeuroRestore) February 7, 2022
New Spinal Implant Treatment To Get Trial
Onward Medical is the company that hopes to commercialize the system widely. They expect to launch a trial in about a year involving 70 to 100 patients. If it’s successful, say the researchers, paralyzed victims of spinal cord injuries may someday soon be able to simply speak to their smartphone or smartwatch to initiate an activity like sitting, standing, walking or swimming.
Personal injury lawyer Brian A. Horowitz is excited for the promise this holds for some of his clients. “In the past, sometimes with cases involving spinal cord injuries, my clients and their family members spoke in unrealistic terms about the prospects of a full recovery,” said Mr. Horowitz, who has handled cases like these for 35 years. “I have always wanted to encourage them, and give them a reason to not give up, knowing the reality that their prognosis was very dire. With these incredible advances in medical science, it is truly astonishing to think that there is now real hope that spinal cord injury victims could recover some or all the use of their limbs.”
Spinal cord injuries are horrific life-changing events for victims. If you or a loved one has suffered such an injury as a result of negligence, contact Horowitz Injury Law immediately for a cost-free consultation. Call 416-925-4100.