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October 4, 2018

Spinal Cord Stimulation, Physical Therapy Help Paralyzed Man Stand, Walk With Assistance

By centerforregmedmc

Spinal cord stimulation and physical therapy have helped a man paralyzed since 2013 regain his ability to stand and walk with assistance. The results, achieved in a research collaboration between Mayo Clinic and UCLA, are reported in Nature Medicine.

With an implanted stimulator turned on, the man, Jered Chinnock, was able to step with a front-wheeled walker while trainers provided occasional assistance. He made 113 rehabilitation visits to Mayo Clinic over a year, and achieved milestones during individual sessions:

  • Total distance: 111 yards (102 meters) — about the length of a football field
  • Total number of steps: 331
  • Total minutes walking with assistance:16 minutes
  • Step speed: 13 yards per minute (0.20 meters per second)

“What this is teaching us is that those networks of neurons below a spinal cord injury still can function after paralysis,” says Kendall Lee, M.D., Ph.D., co-principal investigator, neurosurgeon and director of Mayo Clinic's Neural Engineering Laboratories.

This research was funded by The Grainger Foundation, Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, Jack Jablonski BEL13VE in Miracles Foundation, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rehabilitation Medicine Research Center, Mayo Clinic Transform the Practice, Minnesota Office of Higher Education Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant Program, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, Dana and Albert R. Broccoli Charitable Foundation, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Walkabout Foundation.

Read the full story and watch the video on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Tags: Dr. Kendall Lee, Dr. Kristin Zhao, Dr. Peter Grahn, epidural electrical stimulation, medical engineering, Medical Research, Neuroregeneration, neurosurgery, paralysis, Research, spinal cord injury

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