‘Digital Bridge’ Between Brain and Spinal Cord Helps Paralyzed Man Walk Againextremetech.com
A team of neuroscientists in Switzerland have helped a paralyzed man walk again 12 years after a severe motorcycle accident. Their secret? An experimental implant that helps facilitate central nervous system activity by bridging the gap between the brain and the spinal cord.
Walking might be a relatively simple activity for some, but it requires behind-the-scenes orchestration between the brain, spinal cord, and leg muscles. To tell the legs to move forward, the brain has to send executive commands to the neurons in the lumbosacral spinal cord, which then passes those commands on to the lower extremities. If the path between the brain and the lumbosacral spinal cord has been damaged or severed, those executive commands can’t land, making walking impossible.
This was the case for Gert-Jan Oskam, a man paralyzed from the hips down at 28 years old. Oskam’s accident resulted in rare yet debilitating damage to ...
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