Vanderbilt Study Explores Spinal Cord Stimulation For Paralysis

Vanderbilt Study Explores Spinal Cord Stimulation For Paralysis

This Blog Covers:

  • A neurosurgeon from Vanderbilt University is investigating whether or not intraspinal microstimulation technology can restore complex movements in patients with paralysis.
  • Peter Konrad, M.D., Ph. D., and a team of researchers from the university are seeking volunteers to participate in the study.
  • In this blog, the spine surgeons at American Spine discuss the many possibilities spinal cord stimulation could bring to those with paralysis.

Researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville are planning to study the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation for paralysis patients. Currently, the research team is looking to recruit patients that fit particular requirements, such as:

  • Patients must already be undergoing a spinal surgery for reasons not relevant to the experiment.
  • Patients should have a completely severed spinal cord between the third and eighth vertebrae in the thoracic spine.
  • Damage should not be present below the previously mentioned requirement.

According to Dr. Konrad, the lead author of the study, these requirements are meant to prevent accidental circuitry input that may create movement. Two patients are needed before the research team plans to expand the study to other possible participants. The Director of the Neurosurgery Spine Program at Vanderbilt Dr. Joseph Cheng will oversee the data and monitor the progress of the study, according to the Research News @ Vanderbilt publication.

In an interview with the University publication, Dr. Cheng stated, “This is such a landmark study and one which has the potential to help paralyzed people walk again. Even at this early stage, I feel the concept of intraspinal microstimulation has shown the best promise at this time for our patients who suffer from paraplegia. I think whoever volunteers for this study will be leading the way for those suffering from paraplegia, and who really have no other options for treatment.”

The team at American Spine understands this research experiment could have great potential for patients with paralysis. This is especially true considering spinal cord stimulation showed great promise for paralyzed mice during a previous study. Additionally, there may be areas of the spine capable for inducing stepping motions. To learn more about this future study, visit the Research News @ Vanderbilt website.

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.