Patients with severe paralysis regain use of hands

Non-invasive surgical techniques aimed at stimulating the injured spinal cord are showing astounding results.

The technique pioneered by Professor Reggie Edgerton is for the first time enabling people with severe paralysis to regain use of their hands.

In the UCLA Edgerton lab led trial, six people with severe spinal cord injuries regained use of their hands and fingers for the first time in years after undergoing a non-surgical, non-invasive neurostimulation treatment course that Professor Reggie Edgerton and his team have developed.

After only eight treatments Cecilla Villaruel, who sustained a C6-C7 spinal cord injury 13 years ago, regained significant use of her fingers.

Video: Courtesy of Edgerton Lab at UCLA
Ceclilia Villaruel, UCLA hand study 
participant: Ms Villaruel regained significant hand function during the study and was able to perform tasks she had not been able to since prior to her injury over 13 years ago

All five other research subjects also showed improvement including improved blood pressure, bladder function, cardiovascular function and the ability to sit upright without support.

“After just eight sessions, they could do things they haven’t been able to do for years,” said Professor Reggie Edgerton.

This is the largest reported recovery of the use of hands that has been reported in patients with such severe spinal cord injuries, Edgerton said.

Professor Edgerton, who is now also Professor of Spinal Cord Injury at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), will be bringing this research to Sydney through Project Edge. Project Edge will be the first comprehensive scientific and clinical research program outside the US. Funding permitting, The UTS Centre for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, where the trials will be held will open later this year.

Read more via UCLA Newsroom…

Read full research paper…

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Patients with severe paralysis regain use of hands