UCLA scientists test electrical stimulation that bypasses injury; technique boosts patient’s finger control, grip strength up to 300 percent
Elaine Schmidt for UCLA Newsroom |
A spinal stimulator being tested by doctors at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is showing promise in restoring hand strength and movement to a California man who broke his neck in a dirt bike accident five years ago.
In June, Brian Gomez, now 28, became one of the first people in the world to undergo surgery for the experimental device.
UCLA scientists inserted the 32-electrode stimulator below the site of Gomez’s spinal cord injury, near the C-5 vertebrae in the middle of his neck. That’s the area most commonly associated with quadriplegia, the loss of function and feeling in all four limbs.