Paraplegic man learns to walk again
A man whose spinal cord was severed in a motorcycle accident has been able to take his first steps in five years thanks to new developments in technology. Essex residents who are interested in this development should note that the work is still experimental and further research is needed to confirm that this approach is viable. The paraplegic patient involved in the test was pleased with the results so far and expressed his hope that a solution to severed nerve damage would be found in his lifetime.
Nerves in the spinal cord do not regenerate if they are severed, and the 26-year-old patient had been confined to a wheelchair since his accident. Researchers effectively bypassed the damaged nerves in his spine by monitoring the neural impulses in his brain and transmitting their signal to a receiver attached to his waist which in turn fired electrical impulses to electrodes around his knees. The process requires conscious thought to take each step, but it shows that the mind retains the ability to create the necessary brain waves.
The man went through a 19-week training programme that started with exercises to restore his leg muscles and sessions to control a virtual reality model with his mind. He graduated to moving his legs while suspended off the ground until the final stage of the experiment, where he walked for 12 feet. This is the first time someone with his type injuries has been able to walk without using a mechanical device.
The injuries resulting from a serious road accident may be life-threatening and can result in a permanent disability. In such cases, when calculating the amount of compensation that a client might be entitled to, a solicitor with experience in road accident claims may take into consideration expenses such as the cost of rehabilitation and long-term medical care.