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AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000451668.20706.6c
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NewsCAP: Epidural stimulation may promote voluntary movement after spinal cord injury

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Epidural stimulation may promote voluntary movement after spinal cord injury. A study of four men who were unable to stand or walk independently or move their lower extremities after a spinal cord injury found that epidural stimulation resulted in some intentional movement during the stimulation. All the men had paralysis for at least 2.2 years after an injury to the spinal cord between the vertebrae C7 and T5. The device was implanted at the base of the thoracic spine, and participants received daily epidural stimulation (pulsed electrical signals from electrodes placed over vertebrae from L1 to S1) combined with stand or step training. With repeated training, the amount of stimulation necessary for movement decreased, and one patient was eventually able to perform leg flexion without stimulation. The study authors, writing in the May issue of the journal Brain, recommend that more research be done as technology improves in order to take advantage of the benefits of these findings.

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