A man who was paralyzed from the chest down is walking again. In Poland, 40 years of research is coming to life for doctors who implanted cells from Darek Fidyka’s nose into his spinal cord. His damaged nerves began to repair themselves, allowing him to take steps for the first time in 4 years. (source)
Harry Paul from New York was born with congenital scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that forced him to endure more than a dozen operations growing up. That’s why starting in his freshman year of high school, he worked to research a new type of spinal implant that can grow along with a child so that it doesn’t have to be constantly replaced or adjusted with surgery.
New therapies are on the horizon for individuals paralyzed following spinal cord injury. The e-Dura implant developed by EPFL scientists can be applied directly to the spinal cord without causing damage and inflammation.
wow, what a long and exhausting day! i think i'll just lay down in this warm, comfy bed and sleep -
do you think the spinal implants we see in darth vader's neck at the end of ROTJ were necessary because the weight of the suit or the design of the shoulder armor screwed with his spine? in order for the control panel to function it would have had to be wired directly into him, so what happened if a battle wound screwed with the wiring - did it all have to be replaced? does having heavy, metal organs mean that he can't lay in specific positions or they'll press into what little organic and fragile organs he has left? wouldn't artficial organs made of metal cause some form of internal bruising/bleeding? does he stand and sit so stiffly because bending his torso means a slow and painful death? are vader's muscles utterly destroyed from not being able to bend, at all, ever? in order to -
SHUT THE FUCK UP
my brain, ten minutes later:
.... how does he yawn? can he sneeze? do you think
‘Cyborg’ spinal implant could help paralysed walk again
Paralysed patients have been given new hope of recovery after rats with severe spinal injuries walked again through a ‘groundbreaking’ new cyborg-style implant. In technology which could have come straight out of a science fiction novel or Hollwood movie, French scientists have created a thin prosthetic ribbon, embedded with electrodes, which lies along the spinal cord and delivers electrical impulses and drugs. The prosthetic, described by British experts as ‘quite remarkable’, is soft enough to bend with tissue surrounding the backbone to avoid discomfort. Paralysed rats who were fitted with the implant were able to walk on their own again after just a few weeks of training. Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne are hoping to move to clinical trials in humans soon. They believe that a device could last 10 years in humans before needing to be replaced. The implant, called ‘e-Dura’, is so effective because it mimics the soft tissue around the spine – known as the dura mater – so that the body does not reject its presence. “Our e-Dura implant can remain for a long period of time on the spinal cord or cortex,” said Professor Stéphanie Lacour.
The science behind paralysis treatment has taken a major step forward.
A new spinal implant was shown to reverse paralysis in rats, and researchers say the development could soon extend to humans. Click here to watch the video (it’s worth it, even if it’s just to watch a rat walk on his hind legs).