Researchers from the University of California, US, and Pavlov Institute, Russia, have successfully helped five completely paralysed men to move their legs in a rhythmic motion without surgery. The non-invasive method involved stimulating the spinal cord through electric current by way of electrodes.
The method is known as transcutaneous stimulation and electrodes in this case were strategically placed on the skin of the lower back. For the experiment, these people were given 45-minute training session per week for 18 weeks. Simultaneously, they were also given twice daily doses of buspirone, a drug used to treat anxiety disorders.
The legs of the men were suspended in braces that hung from the ceiling which allowed free movement of legs without resistance from gravity. The success of the experiment clearly indicates a bright future for many patients with spinal cord injury.