Swiss scientists recently published a study suggesting that people with spinal cord injuries could recover by using a new therapy. The treatment, touted by those in the medical community, claims to teach patients' brains and spinal cords to create new pathways of communication between each other.
As part of the study, paralyzed rats learned to walk and run after following a physical therapy regimen that included electrical and chemical stimulation of their injured spinal columns. Because of the therapy, the rats' brains were able to sync up with their limbs, essentially teaching them how to walk again. According to the scientists, this process is akin to the process used by infants who have to learn how to crawl, stand and then walk.
In the next couple of years, scientists are hoping to conduct these tests on humans and are optimistic about its ability to assist those with spinal cord injuries. While the treatment may not be a cure, it could improve the lives of many of those dealing with spinal cord injuries.
There are approximately 250,000 Americans who live with spinal cord injuries and the majority of them are paraplegic. And many are injured as a result of auto accidents caused by negligent drivers.
Fortunately, victims can seek to recover compensation to pay for medical expenses, lost wages and even pain and suffering.
Source: The Star Tribune, "A Tiny Step of Hope for Spinal Cord Injuries," Melissa Healy, June 3, 2012