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University of Washington Seeing Success with Nerve Stimulation Trial

By November 22, 2018No Comments

There have been several breakthroughs using electrical stimulation to damaged nerves, but they have required surgeries to implant wires and stimulator inside the body.

At the University of Washington, they are showing dramatic success with a much less invasive procedure.

“In six months’ time, I flew over 150,000 miles. I snorkeled in the Red Sea, sat on the Great Wall of China, and attended Octoberfest,” Joe recalled.

It was during that active life body-surfing in Hawaii when Joe was tumbled onto the beach by a rogue wave that left him with a spine injury and a future life without the use of his limbs.

“The only thing I could move when I woke up was my big toe, so it means I wasn’t totally paralyzed,” Joe explained. “I was in the hospital for three weeks.”

“Spinal cord injuries are a very compelling problem because there are very few or essentially no clinical treatments for those with chronic spinal cord injuries,” explained Dr. Moritz.

Dr. Moritz and his team at UW’s Center for Neurotechnology are working on a study funded by the National Science Foundation that would attempt to reconnect or rebuild severed electrical pathways from the brain to the body’s uncontrollable extremities, with non-invasive electrical stimulation.