People with quadriplegia regain control of their hands through electrical stimulation of the spinal cord

People with quadriplegia regain control of their hands through electrical stimulation of the spinal cord

A non-invasive electrical spinal cord stimulator improved arm and hand function in 43 people with quadriplegia (paralysis of the upper and lower body), according to clinical trial results published Monday. Natural medicine.

The trial, which was completed by sixty patients from fourteen centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada, demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of the device and noted improvements in upper extremity strength, function and mobility. With chronic quadriplegia.

Spinal cord injuries interfere with the relationship between the brain and spinal cord, which regulates nerve functions, and when they occur in the cervical region, they mainly affect the function of the hands and arms.

Electrical stimulation of the spinal cord can restore nerve functions when stimulation is applied to the parts of the spine that contain neurons involved in controlling these functions.

However, these treatments require implanting electrodes in specific areas of the spinal cord through invasive surgical procedures.

With the alternative, Gregoire CourtinFrom the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and his collaborators, designed a non-surgical device called arkxxxwhich supplies the spinal cord with an electrical current through surface electrodes that can modulate neurons within selected parts of the spine.

To compare the effect of the device on arm and hand function with the results of rehabilitation alone, they conducted an open, multicenter clinical trial in 65 patients with quadriplegia due to a spinal cord injury caused at least one year before the trial.

Participants first underwent a two-month clinical rehabilitation program and then repeated the rehabilitation program, this time with therapy arkxxx He added for another two months.

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Of the sixty patients who completed the trial with the treatment arkxxx43 showed clear improvements in strength and function.

“Trial results to lift He confirms that it far exceeded our hypotheses Chet Moritzlead author of the study, principal investigator and professor of electrical and computer engineering Medicine Rehabilitation from the University of Washington.

“After just two months, more than half of the participants… to lift Moderate improvements were achieved in grip strength greater than that needed to fully lift objects and in the pressure force needed to grip an object with fork Or enter a key,” he points out Moritz.

In addition, study participants reported a decrease in the frequency of muscle spasms, and improvements in… son As well as a general improvement in the upper body, including the sense of touch.

In fact, 87% of patients said the treatment Arch-EX He improved his overall quality of life.

The authors believe that treatment arkxxx It is safe and effective, and they suggest that it could serve as a new treatment to improve neurological recovery of hand and arm function for people with chronic cervical spine injury.

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