Zaps to spine help stroke survivors move arms...

News Summary

  • She learned to walk again but — with the exception of those four weeks with spinal stimulation — cannot fully open her left hand or completely raise that arm.“You feel like there’s a barrier between your brain and your arm,” Rendulic said.
  • Stroke damage makes it harder for those messages to get through.“People still retain some of this connection, they’re just not enough to enable movement,” said University of Pittsburgh assistant professor Marco Capogrosso, who led the new research with colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • That unusually young stroke, caused by weak blood vessels that bled inside her brain, initially paralyzed her entire left side.
  • “These messages are weaker than normal.”His idea: Stimulate a pathway of related nerve cells so they’re better able to sense and pick up the brain’s weak signal.“We’re not bypassing their control.
  • We’re enhancing their capabilities to move their own arm,” he said.Researchers turned to implants the size of spaghetti strands that already are used to stimulate the spine for chronic pain treatment.
  • The brain must signal multiple nerves that control how the shoulder lifts, the wrist turns and the hand flexes.
WASHINGTON (AP) A stroke left Heather Rendulic with little use of her left hand and arm, putting certain everyday tasks like tying shoes or cutting foods out of reach.I live onehanded in a twohan [+4532 chars]