Healthy Living

Apr 8, 2014 6:54 AM by Associated Press

Electrical device helps paralyzed men move legs

LONDON (AP) - There's no miracle cure right around the corner but researchers say they've been able to replicate positive results from zapping the spinal cords of paralyzed patients.

The first man to be zapped three years ago was able to stand and move his legs. Now it's been done with three more patients, suggesting the original success was no fluke.

When the implanted device is activated, the men can wiggle their toes, lift their legs and stand briefly. But they aren't able to walk and they still use wheelchairs.

The study's lead author, Claudia Angeli of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center at the University of Louisville, says she believes the zapping of the spinal cord helps it to receive simple commands from the brain, through circuitry that some doctors had assumed was beyond repair after severe paralysis.

The study is in the British journal Brain.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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