May 27, 2011
A new treatment gives an American man paralyzed from the chest down the ability to stand for the first time in years.
Rob Summers broke his back in an accident.
As a result he has been confined to a wheelchair since 2006.
Thanks to a treatment developed at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center Rob has been able to stand supporting his own weight and using muscles he's been unable to move since the accident.
Summers can also take repeated steps on a treadmill -- with some support -- and voluntarily move his hips, knees ankles and toes.
Researchers implanted electrodes next to his spinal cord which through electronic stimulation mimic signals normally sent by the brain.
Study authors hope their work will help some individuals with spinal cord injuries the hopes of standing again
However they caution more work needs to be done before this technique becomes standard practice.
Findings appear online first in the journal, The Lancet.