HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
One small step means giant leap for spinal cord research

A new device developed at the University of Toronto that stimulates the muscles of patients with spinal cord injuries helps to increase walking function in those whose condition is not expected to improve.

U of T researchers have found that functional electrical stimulation (FES), a process that sends controlled bursts of electricity through the skin and into muscles, can help patients improve their step frequency, stride length and overall walking speed.

"This is a group of patients in which recovery is not expected," says Professor Milos Popovic of the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and the study's senior researcher. "We got them on a treadmill and worked with them and 18 weeks later we saw quite a considerable improvement."

Five patients, whose spinal cord injuries had taken place from two to 24 years prior to the study, completed two to five sessions per week of FES therapy. After practising with physiotherapists, the patients learned how to trigger their leg muscles as they walked. Over the course of 12 to 18 weeks, the patients gradually improved -- one woman was even able to stop using a full-length leg brace while walking.

While the patients' walking skills had decreased 10 weeks after treatment finished, the team found that overall walking skills were still considerably better than before the therapy. "It's truly rewarding when the patients are happy and they write you a little card saying, Without you, I could not walk," Popovic says. "In the next couple of years, I believe someone is going to develop a functional electrical stimulator that is suitable for this type of therapy and get it on the market," he says.

Popovic and colleagues are now conducting a similar study on a larger scale.


'"/>

Contact: Nicolle Wahl
nicolle.wahl@utoronto.ca
416-978-6974
University of Toronto
14-Dec-2005


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Is nutrient loading a smaller problem than we think?
2. Consumption of small amounts of dark chocolate associated with reduction in blood pressure
3. A small leak will sink a great ship
4. Fever after smallpox vaccination tied to individual genetic variations
5. University of Liverpool launches 10 million small animal teaching hospital
6. Study shows big power of small RNAs, not just proteins, in halting cancer
7. New algorithms classify outcomes of nonsmall cell lung cancer patients
8. Cisplatin is more effective than carboplatin for treating nonsmall cell lung cancer
9. Innovative smallpox vaccine research study to be conducted at Case Medical Center
10. Enzyme delivered in smaller package protects cells from radiation damage
11. Why small dogs are small

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/14/2019)... ... August 14, 2019 , ... Carterra® Inc., ... have opened a Customer Experience Center (CEC) and office in Munich, Germany. Rapid ... , The Munich CEC will be a place for researchers throughout Europe to ...
(Date:8/14/2019)... ... 14, 2019 , ... Representatives with MyBioGate announced that China Focus@Biotech Week will ... “We help innovative projects connect with Chinese pharma and investors in healthcare innovation,” said ... to explain that as a part of Biotech Week Boston – the annual biotech ...
(Date:8/14/2019)... ... August 13, 2019 , ... ... of Molecular Pathology, Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in a live webinar ... about the process of biomarker and companion diagnostic development including machine learning approaches ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/2/2019)... ... 02, 2019 , ... Leading Regenerative Veterinary Medicine company, VetStem Biopharma , ... The film focuses on regenerative veterinary medicine as a means of improving the ... included in the Brentwood and Pacific Palisades International Film Festival in Los Angeles, ...
(Date:6/18/2019)... ... June 18, 2019 , ... Personalized Stem Cells, Inc (“PSC”), ... to the FDA for use of a person’s own adipose-derived stem cells to treat ... in the knee. This IND is the first of several planned clinical trials ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... June 10, 2019 , ... ... science and technology in an upcoming episode, scheduled to broadcast 4Q/2019. Check your ... Eppendorf Group) and will educate viewers about how its technology facilitates laboratories to ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... 11, 2019 , ... Veterinary Regenerative Medicine company, VetStem ... announced that their GMP facility for cell production is now approved by the ... is an important milestone for VetStem as it expands into contract cell manufacturing ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: