Living With a Spinal Cord Injury - Search for a Cure
At this time, it is not well known what type of cell to
use or when and where to transplant cells.
Functional research looks at ways to
improve what people with SCIs can do physically, leading to an improved quality
Electrical stimulation uses low-level electrical current to
stimulate nervous system cells and muscles. The stimulated activity can change
the activity and behavior of cells. This therapy may help people who have
limited movement (such as being able to walk a little) to do more and to do it
more easily. Activity may lead to some cell regeneration.
Tendon transfer is a surgical procedure that takes a
tendon of an active muscle and attaches it to a
paralyzed muscle. This can result in better motion. One example of this is the
NeuroControl Freehand System, which, along with electrical stimulation, can
provide hand grasp to some people with SCIs.
Locomotion therapy uses a harness and a treadmill to help
people with SCI use their legs and walk. A physical therapist helps with leg
movements. Research reports that people with incomplete SCIs showed improvement
in walking speeds, endurance, and the need for support.4