The Amazing Process That Enabled paralysed Rats To Run Again

rats

Courtesy of Dr. Grégoire Courtine/EPLF

Researchers recently completed a scientific trial that  enabled paralysed rats to run again.Through a combination of chemical, electrical, and physical stimulation, they found that the paralysed rats who underwent treatment could walk again — some could even run.

This could have incredible implications for paralysed humans, but much more research is needed before these techniques can be tested in humans.

Here is a breakdown of the step-by-step process these scientists used to reactivate parts of the spinal cords and get these rats walking again.

See how they got the rats to walk again >
Read more about The Groundbreaking Combination of Scientific Treatments That Could Mean A Cure For Paralysis >

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The study succeeds in restoring voluntary and adaptive movement in paralysed rats.

Which is amazing since the rats begin with partially severed spinal cords.

First the researchers inject a cocktail of chemicals designed to mimic the body's signals that coordinate lower body movement.

Five to 10 minutes later electrical impulses are sent to tiny electrodes between the bones of the spine and the nerves of the spinal cord.

Then the rats are strapped into a machine that provides support against gravity and holds them upright, but doesn't push them forward.

The rats slowly learn to walk, in the safest possible environment, and eventually are able to run and climb stairs again, with the verbal encouragement of the scientists.

This occurs because the brain establishes new connections that bypass the injuries.

fibres that were previously separated are now able to share information.

Which enables information to travel from the brain to nerves past the injury.

So that the pathways below the injury are connected to voluntary controls in the brain.

The therapeutic impact in humans is hard to predict but one thing is certain:

These treatments promise game-changing possibilities for healing human spinal cord injuries, and possibly even paralysis.

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