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Spinal cord injury (SCI)

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Rat studies suggest deep brain stimulation could be useful for promoting recovery of motor function following SCI. In a rat model of SCI-induced hind limb motor impairment, excitatory deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the mesencephalic locomotor region restored hind limb function during walking and swimming exercises to near-preinjury levels. In animals with SCI-induced hind limb functional paralysis, DBS restored some basic hind limb motor function. Next steps include determining the intensity of stimulation needed to restore voluntary control of motor function without forcing motor activity.

SciBX 6(45); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1300
Published online Nov. 21, 2013

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Bachmann, L.C. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.; published online Oct. 23, 2013;
Contact: Lukas C. Bachmann, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland