A man with spinal cord injury has been able to walk again with the help of a revolutionary spinal implant.
The 30 years old, David Mzee suffered a spinal injury seven years ago in a sporting accident which bound him to a wheelchair. Being paralysed for the last 7 seven years, Mzee lost control over his leg muscles. The renowned neurosurgeons Switzerland’s treated him with a spinal implant using electrical stimulators that changed his life. Not only Mzee but three other paralysed men, who were told they would spend their remaining lives in a wheelchair, are able to walk again on their limbs, all thanks to doctors in Switzerland.
During the procedure, an electrical device inserted around the men’s spines which stimulated the signals from their brains to their muscles of legs. It also helped damaged nerves in the spinal cord to grow again. The results are published in the journal Nature on 31st October. The scientist who developed the technique says the implant is aimed to help repair damaged nerves and regrow them.
Dr Jocelyne Bloch, a neurosurgeon at Lausanne University said, “This little device that is an impulse generator is giving impulses to the electrode that is located on the spinal cord.”
Spinal cord injuries impact the normal functioning of the nervous system and neurological functions which leads to the paralysis. In a normal and healthy person, nerves in thesend signals from the brain to the legs and other parts of the body. The system is highly integrated and closely linked. However, in a case when a person is paralyzed, the signals sent from the brain to the legs are usually too weak to create movement. To boost the signals and create the movement, the electrical implant is used.
Scientists said that the groundbreaking research shows paralysis can be reversed and patients can regain control of their muscled but it is still unclear to how much degree.