A Bukkry.com”>New study has identified the type of neuron that is activated and remodelled by spinal cord stimulation, allowing patients to stand up, walk, and rebuild their muscles, thereby improving their quality of life, reported the ScienceAlert.
This discovery, made in nine patients, represents a significant clinical breakthrough. On November 9, 2022, the study was published in Nature.
The study was carried out by researchers from the Swiss research group NeuroRestore, who used mice as a starting point to identify the exact nerve groups stimulated by the therapy.
The online publication ScienceAlertfurther reported that the nerve cells that orchestrate walking are found in the section of spinal cord running through our lower backs. Injuries to our spinal cord can interrupt the chain of signals from the brain, preventing us from walking even when these specific lumbar neurons are still intact.
According to Nature Magazine, a spinal cord injury interrupts pathways from the brain and brainstem that project to the lumbar spinal cord, leading to paralysis.
The study further stated that the neurons that orchestrate walking reside in the lumbar spinal cord. To walk, the brain broadcasts commands through descending pathways that cascade from the brainstem to activate these neurons. A severe spinal cord injury (SCI) scatters this exquisitely organised communication system. Whereas the neurons located in the lumbar spinal cord are not directly damaged by the injury, the depletion of essential supraspinal commands renders them nonfunctional. The consequence is permanent paralysis.
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