Electrocution can “awaken” lost neural connections, helping paralyzed people to walk again

People with paralyzing spinal cord injuries can walk again with the help of medical devices that zap their nerves with electricity. But the designers of these new implants weren’t quite sure how to restore motor function over time — now, a new study offers clues.

The new study, which was conducted on humans and lab mice, is published November 9 in the journal Neurology nature (Opens in a new tab), identifies a specific group of neurons that appear to be key to restoring the ability to walk after a paralyzed spinal cord injury. With an electric shock, the implant can turn on these neurons and thus trigger a chain of events in which they are structured Nervous system the changes. This cellular model restores lost lines of communication between brain and the muscles The researchers concluded that it is necessary for walking, allowing people who have been paralyzed again to walk.

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