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Can Robotics Restore Function for Paralyzed Survivors?

Can Robotics Restore Function for Paralyzed Survivors?

How close is modern science to making a genuine "Six Million Dollar Man?" Scientists and inventors are making significant technological strides. It is quite possible that before long, what was once considered science fiction will be the scientific reality. For people who have suffered spine injury and paralysis following an accident at work or a motor vehicle accident, treatments, and technologies under development could potentially restore their ability to walk and regain their ability to use their limbs.

Brain Controlled Robotic Suits

Scientists at the University of Grenoble in France working in conjunction with the biomedical researchers at Clinatec and the CEA research center have developed a robotic suit that is controlled by the sensorimotor cortex within the brain. A grid of electrodes collect the brain signals from this region and transmit them through a decoding algorithm. This algorithm translates the signals into motions within the exoskeleton suit.

The study is only a couple of years old, and the technology is not available to the public as of yet. It may take several years between testing the prototype and a fully functional production model. However, the early findings of the program show that a marriage between biology and technology is possible.

Injections for Traumatic Brain Injuries

Another exciting development is an injection that could minimize the damage caused by traumatic brain injuries. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio are developing an injection that can be administered on the sports field, while in transport by an EMT, or at a hospital by emergency room physicians. The injection prevents inflammation within the brain, thus minimizing the damage caused by the injury. This treatment could potentially reduce the risk of paralysis and diminished limb function that can accompany a TBI.

Surgical Intervention

Surgeons in Australia are pioneering innovative surgical procedures that have demonstrated the potential to restore limb function following cervical spinal cord injuries. The nerve transfer surgery essentially bypasses the damaged sections of the spine. The study conducted 59 nerve transfers and followed patients two-years post-surgery. At the 24 month mark, researchers determined that the patient's ability to grasp and lift objects was significantly improved.

However, the study was only conducted using patients who suffered paralysis within the past 18 months. Thus, it remains to be seen whether the surgery could restore limb function for individuals whose paralysis is older than a year and a half.

Call in the Bull to speak with our lawyers about the available treatments for paralysis, and the potential for enrolling in clinical trials and studies. Our team will help you pursue compensation for your injuries in Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, or Texas. You can call us at 1-800-241-BRAD, or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400 to speak with an attorney. You can reach Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL.