spinal cord

18 Stories

Scientists Have Made Paralyzed Monkeys Walk

'The whole team was screaming as we watched'

(Newser) - In what could someday prove to be a major step forward for people with spinal cord injuries, scientists out of Switzerland are reporting in the journal Nature that they've gotten paralyzed monkeys to walk again. NPR describes the surgery on the rhesus macaques thusly: A neurosurgeon "placed electrodes... More »

Missouri Cop Shot in Traffic Stop Is Paralyzed

Michael Flamion suffered 'catastrophic' spinal cord damage

(Newser) - The suburban St. Louis police officer shot in the neck during a traffic stop on July 8 is paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator, unable to breathe on his own, says Ballwin Police Chief Kevin Scott. Michael Flamion is, however, "very alert," able to move... More »

How a Medical Team Reattached a Toddler's Skull

The 16-month-old is in a halo brace after a car accident, but walking

(Newser) - In mid-September, Rylea Taylor and her two children survived a 70mph head-on collision in Australia. But when Rylea pulled 16-month-old Jaxon out of the wreckage, she didn't need to be an expert to see her son's neck was broken. Indeed, his top two vertebrae were fractured, and both... More »

First Head Transplant Has a Patient and a Date

A 30-year-old Russian computer scientist has volunteered to be the first in 2017

(Newser) - Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero made headlines in 2013 when he said the first human head transplant is just years away, and again earlier this year when he said the surgery could happen as soon as 2017 . Now he is announcing that, if everything goes "smoothly," he will be... More »

Paralyzed Man Walks Again, Thanks to His Nose

Researchers install 'nerve bridge' from transplanted olfactory cells

(Newser) - After a knife attack, a man was left paralyzed—but thanks to his own nose, he can walk again, with the help of a walker. Darek Fidyka, now 40, had cells from his nose transplanted into his spinal cord, Reuters reports. Doctors working in Poland used nose cells known as... More »

Soccer Player Scores, Dies After Celebratory Flip

23-year-old Peter Biaksangzuala suffered severe spinal injury in Indian game

(Newser) - A 23-year-old Indian soccer player excited over a goal he had just scored died after he did a celebratory flip in the air, landed badly, and suffered a spinal injury, the AP reports. "A CT Scan was done right after he was taken to the hospital, and the result... More »

Olympian Who Severed Her Spine Sits Up

Van Dyken 'doing great,' but prognosis unclear

(Newser) - Six-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Amy Van Dyken Rouen is on the mend and in remarkably good spirits after severing her spine in an all-terrain vehicle crash . Her long-term prognosis is still unclear, but she has posted photos of herself smiling and sitting up in her hospital bed on her... More »

Paralyzed Dogs Saved by Own Noses

Cell transplants may offer hope to humans

(Newser) - A group of paralyzed dogs is walking again—with a little help from a harness—after scientists injected cells from the dogs' noses into the injured portion of their spinal cords. The procedure could eventually help paralyzed humans regain some degree of movement, researchers say, though they caution that such... More »

Robotic Legs Take Big Step Forward

Robolegs accurately mimic human gait

(Newser) - Robotic legs have taken a big and biologically accurate step into the future thanks to a team from the University of Arizona. The team has developed legs that it says mimic the human gait more effectively than any other, with an electronic version of the message system in the spinal... More »

Paralyzed Rats Taught to Walk Again

New treatment helps brain regain control over limbs

(Newser) - If results from new research involving rats can be replicated in humans, up to a third of America's wheelchairs may end up as scrap metal. Swiss scientists have taught rats with hind-leg paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury to walk and even run in just weeks, using a... More »

Paraplegic Walks With Electrode Treatment

Spinal cord treatment awakens damaged nervous system

(Newser) - A young man paralyzed from the chest down after a car accident 5 years ago has become the first person with his condition ever to stand up. Rob Summers, 25, can stand, move his hips, and even take a few steps thanks to an experimental treatment that involves stimulation of... More »

First US Stem Cell Trials Begin

Paralyzed patient injected with embryonic cells

(Newser) - American scientists have begun testing embryonic stem cells on a patient for the first time. The groundbreaking, federally-approved clinical trial involves injecting millions of the cells into a patient who suffered paralysis after a recent spinal cord injury, reports Reuters . Scientists hope the stem cells will regenerate nerves in the... More »

Paralyzed Rats Run in Breakthrough Experiment

Application for humans with spinal injuries not far off

(Newser) - Scientists have made paralyzed rats run again by using a new technique that could one day have wheelchair-bound people walking, reports AFP. Rats, whose spinal cords had been severed, ran when scientists applied electrical charges and drugs. "In some cases they actually walked with more consistent locomotive patterns than... More »

Blue Food Dye May Help Treat Spinal Injury

M&M coloring, if taken in time, could reduce paralysis, study finds

(Newser) - A dye used to color blue M&Ms and Gatorade may have a higher calling: Scientists say it could help treat spinal-cord injury, ScienceBlog reports. After a spinal injury, a chemical called ATP, usually key to cells’ health, rushes to the site and kills cells, worsening paralysis. With more research,... More »

Parkinson's Treatment Shows Promise in Mice

(Newser) - Potential good news for Parkinson's patients: An experimental treatment on mice that involves implanting electrodes on the spinal cord had great success, Reuters reports. Mice that received the so-called stimulator were able to move more easily. Human trials are expected to start next year, and they could lead the way... More »

FDA OKs Pioneering Stem Cell Trial

First-ever test of therapy on spinal cord injuries hailed as milestone

(Newser) - The FDA has approved the world's first-ever human trial of a medical treatment using embryonic stem cells, the New York Times reports. The move is being hailed as a watershed moment for medical research. Biotech company Geron plans to inject the cells—which can turn into any type of cell... More »

Sea Slugs Inspire New Brain Implant Technology

Findings could apply to people with Parkinson's and spinal cord injuries

(Newser) - Sure, it’s a warty creepy-crawly that lurks at the bottom of the ocean, but the sea cucumber has inspired scientists to create a new material that could be used in implanted brain electrodes to help people with Parkinson’s disease, reports the BBC. The creature stiffens its skin when... More »

'Rewired' Nerves Restore Ability to Walk

Promising research on mice raises hopes for human breakthrough

(Newser) - Scientists have figured out how mice that lose the ability to walk after a spinal-cord injury can regain it, a finding that could someday help human patients, Scientific American reports. When the long nerves that run from the brain to the base of the spine were severed, shorter nerves in... More »

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