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People with spinal cord injuries benefit from nerve stimulation

People in Pennsylvania currently suffering from a spinal cord injury brought on by a serious accident know how difficult it can be to do even the simplest of activities. But according to a recent study, patients may be able to regain the ability to move and feel their arms and legs with the help of nerve stimulation therapy.

According to the study, published at the end of November in the journal Current Biology, patients who underwent noninvasive stimulation of nerves in the brain and wrist temporarily regained limited movement in their arms and hands.

Because of the forces exerted on the human body during a serious car accident, many survivors are left with injuries to the upper portions of their spinal cords which can often times cause impairments in the hands, arms and feet, say many doctors.

Doctors associated with the study are hoping that their small study could one day lead to larger scale testing. Eventually, their goal is to develop a portable device that people can use at home which may be able to promote longer-lasting improvements in muscle functions.

Though many critics have pointed out that this study is a long way from a complete rehabilitation program, many doctors are confident that this may be the next step towards helping people with spinal cord injuries regain mobility and reclaim their lives once more.

Source: U.S. News, "Nerve Stimulation May Restore Hand Function After Spinal Injury," Amy Norton, Nov. 29, 2012

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