Since time immemorial and all around the world, spinal cord injuries (SCI) have been an elusive foe for the medical fraternity to tackle. This is because SCI can be so complex, affecting people who have endured them both physically and psychologically.
However, much progress is being made in treating the array of symptoms associated with SCI, and indeed in the quest for a cure. Case in point, an extraordinary new procedure which has led to significant improvements in the quality of life of SCI sufferers.
Here at Unique Access Medical (UAM), the procedure itself isn’t news. UAM has been providing Epidural Stimulation surgery to global SCI patients since 2016, with fantastic results. But what is newsworthy this time is the publicity Epidural Stimulation has recently received.
Epidural Stimulation on 60 Minutes
According to Dr. Bryce Vissel, an esteemed neuroscientist at the University of Technology Sydney, Epidural Stimulation is changing the way doctors and surgeons view spine injuries.
The procedure involves the surgical implantation of electrodes onto the spinal cord which, when triggered by a hand-held remote control, awakens nerve signals and connects the patient’s brain to the spinal-cord tissue below their injury.
This allows patients to regain voluntary movement of their arms and legs — among many other improvements in motor and sensory functions — which was presumed to be lost forever.
Dr. Vissel was interviewed about Epidural Stimulation on 60 Minutes Australia, which is some seriously high-profile exposure for the treatment, and further indication that the course Unique Access Medical has taken to help SCI patients is the right one.
“We are in the phase of curing illnesses, curing injuries, curing brain diseases that have previously been thought irrecoverable,” says Dr. Vissel. “This is the industrial revolution of science.”
A revolution, he says, that requires a global effort involving the most talented doctors and most courageous patients.
Epidural Stimulation Becoming Mainstream Medicine
After having witnessed the impact that technology is having on spinal cord injuries — from an array of international medical trials and treatment providers — Dr. Vissel’s goals in medicine have grown to include bringing Epidural Stimulation to Australia’s SCI community.
The results are in from clinical trials in the USA and Europe, as well as from commercial providers such as Unique Access Medical, and they’re extremely promising.
Since the Epidural Stimulation procedure isn’t particularly complex (insofar as high-tech medical treatments are concerned), Dr. Vissel should be able to realize his goal and help Australian paraplegics and quadriplegics regain control of their lives.
If we look at Epidural Stimulation in more detail, it is a fairly straightforward surgery, albeit one with remarkable results. We’re talking about the application of electric current to the spinal cord by a small piece of hardware controlled remotely by a simple bit of software.
Working together, they regulate the intensity and frequency of the electric current between brain and spine. For patients treated by UAM, the electrical stimulation is complemented by an array of supportive therapies and a process called “mapping.”
Symptoms that Epidural Stimulation Helps
Broadly speaking, spinal cord injuries fall into two categories: incomplete and complete. An incomplete injury means some motor function is retained below the level of injury. With dedicated, sustained rehabilitation, incomplete patients can maintain a measure of independence.
With a complete spinal cord injury, however, extensive nerve damage effectively obstructs all signals from the brain to the parts of the body located below the injury level. Since the spinal cord does not self-heal as well as most other parts of the body, the physical damage is generally viewed as being irreversible. But the loss of voluntary movement isn’t irreversible.
Epidural Stimulation at UAM’s internationally-accredited facilities in Thailand and India helps patients regain motor abilities and significantly reduce SCI symptoms. They can get back their ability to stand, take assisted steps, move their limbs, stabilize blood pressure, regain control of their bowel, bladder, and sexual function, and more.
A Cure for SCI
“We will find the best people in the world who are advancing the technology in science, to the maximum capacity that they can, and try to bring them here to Australia,” said Dr. Vissel, adding, “Our goal is no less than cure.”
UAM applauds and supports the efforts being made by the worldwide neurological community in its quest for an SCI cure, and we couldn’t be happier with the publicity Dr. Vissel’s efforts are receiving.
While he and his Australian team continue to work towards their goal of advancing the technology, UAM will continue providing Epidural Stimulation to worldwide patients in Bangkok and New Delhi.
We have successfully treated nearly 70 SCI patients with Epidural Stimulation and support therapies, and we would welcome an opportunity to share our growing knowledge in collaboration with the dedicated doctor from down under.
To find out more about how Epidural Stimulation can help you or a loved one, please contact us, and a patient services representative will get back to you shortly.