Man Gains Volitional Control After Epidural Stimulation

Paraplegic patients can gain volitional control of their legs and make steplike motions after undergoing Epidural Stimulation treatment within two weeks, according to a research by Mayo Clinic conducted last year. This report was based on the research, Enabling Task- Specific Volitional Motor Functions via Spinal Cord Neuromodulation in a Human with Paraplegia by Grahn Peter, Lavrov Igor, and Sayenko Dimitry, et al.

Intentional or volitional movement means that the patient’s brain is able to consciously signal to motor neurons in his or her spinal cord to move the legs. Mayo Clinic researchers applied the Epidural Stimulation with a total of eight stimulation sessions, together with Physiotherapy to make the man under research, move his paralyzed leg, stand with support, and make steplike motions for the first time in three years.

Under the study, the patient had a surgery to implant an electrode in the epidural space near the spinal cord. The electrode is connected to a computer-controlled device under the skin in the patient’s abdominal area. After three weeks recovery from the surgery, the patient resumed physical therapy with stimulation settings adjusted to enable movements. In the first two weeks, he could control his muscles so that his legs moved while lying sideways, and mimic steplike motions. He was also able to stand up with partial support and use his arms for support on the balance bar.

Kristin Zhao, Ph.D., co-principal investigator and director of Mayo Clinic’s Assistive and Restorative Technology Laboratory said that this research has set the tone for post-surgical rehabilitation. A patient may use functions they recovered after the Epidural Stimulation treatment and physiotherapy to yield even more improvements in terms of movements.

This study was also done with the collaboration of UCLA researchers. Teams from Mayo Clinic’s departments of Neurosurgery and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the Division of Engineering were also involved in this project.

Unique Access Medical is an access provider of pioneering treatments for Spinal Cord Injury. It has provided treatment access to many patients worldwide with Spinal Cord Injury, all of whom have regained motor control and movement after undergoing the Epidural Stimulation Procedure. The Epidural Stimulation treatment procedure that has helped patients experience great improvements in their life. Epidural Stimulation is currently the most advanced treatment for Spinal Cord Injury patients and is approved by the FDA for trials.

To learn more about how this treatment can help you or your loved one, please contact us to schedule a free consultation with our medical experts.

Patients are also offered Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation programs, which are aimed to help the brain and muscles coordinate to achieve voluntary control. This will also give patients the physical and functional platform to regain strength, muscle mass, mobility and control.


H/T: Mayo Clinic