A Small Study Using Epidural Electrical Stimulation May Offer Hope of New Treatment for Severe Spinal Cord Injury

March 08, 2022, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

A very small-scale study using Epidural Electrical Stimulation (EES) was published in Neurology Today. While the outcomes look good, the broad consensus is that larger studies that replicated the results are required before this can be considered a new therapy.

In a new therapy described as optimized spinal cord stimulation, independent walking and other motor activities were restored to three men who had complete sensorimotor paralysis within a single day. The men were able to cycle, swim and walk offering hope to others.

What is EES?

EES is an electrical treatment that targets specific dorsal roots which are used to control leg and trunk movement. The specific treatment appears to be highly successful with rapid results. The researchers suggest that with continued therapy the three men would be sufficiently mobile to restore activities of walking, swimming and cycling to the point that they could resume the activities in community settings.

The researchers also noted that although the participants could move independently, they did not regain natural movements. The movement they did have was sufficient though to perform activities for longer periods of time. Some results suggest EES stimulation boosted signals from residual pathways allowing the men to modulate their leg movements as well.

Neurology Today reports that:

“We know based on previous clinical work that when we stimulate the spinal cord, and especially the dorsal root entry zones where the sensory fibers come into the spinal cord, we can recruit muscles,” he said. “At the same time, we know if we look at the innervation of different muscles of the legs and trunk, some muscles are innervated by some nerves, other muscles by other nerves.”

“Additionally, any movement has a temporal sequence of muscular activation. If you stimulate the right dorsal roots in the correct temporal sequence, we can selectively recruit these muscle groups for a specific activity.”

Although these results look extremely promising and may provide hope for those with severe spinal cord injury larger studies will be required to confirm the treatment efficacy and to refine the treatment.

Spinal cord injury is common in car, motorcycle and cycling accidents, slip and falls, sporting mishaps, and workplace injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers today. Don’t face your situation alone.

Posted under ATV Accidents, Accident Benefit News, Car Accidents, Catastrophic Injury, Disability Insurance, Long Term Disability, Motorcycle Accidents, Paraplegia, Personal Injury, Quadriplegia

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

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