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What are the latest developments in the use of electrical stimulation for spinal cord injuries?

What are the latest developments in the use of electrical stimulation for spinal cord injuries?

David Chen, MD

Medical Director, Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Read Bio More Videos by David Chen
Transcript
There are a number of, of research groups that are looking at the potential role of electrical-simulation, magnetic stimulation—whether it’s applied on the outside of the body to muscles, or to the spinal cord, or internally, let’s say ... Show More

There are a number of, of research groups that are looking at the potential role of electrical-simulation, magnetic stimulation—whether it’s applied on the outside of the body to muscles, or to the spinal cord, or internally, let’s say implanted systems in the spinal cord—and the results of those studies, thus far, are very, very early, and very, very minimal. A lot of work is being done to try to see how electrical stimulation may enhance neurologic recovery in individuals who have had spinal cord injury. But at this point, to tell you the truth, it’s too early to tell where this research may lead to, and if potentially there maybe clinical applications to it. Now from the treatment standpoint, we do use electrical stimulation with individuals who have some residual function. We know that individuals who have some ability to move a small part of their body, although it may not be normal, by using electrical stimulation either to the nerve or to the muscles, in conjunction with their other therapies, that it can be helpful and effective in enhancing the strength in those areas. But at the present time, in areas where a person has no ability to move the muscles, the use of electrical stimulation in those areas probably is not that effective in enhancing neurologic return.

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What are the latest developments in the use of electrical stimulation for spinal cord injuries?

David Chen, MD

Medical Director, Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

More Videos by David Chen
Transcriptadd

There are a number of, of research groups that are looking at the potential role of electrical-simulation, magnetic stimulation—whether it’s applied on the outside of the body to muscles, or to the spinal cord, or internally, let’s say implanted systems in the spinal cord—and the results of those studies, thus far, are very, very early, and very, very minimal. A lot of work is being done to try to see how electrical stimulation may enhance neurologic recovery in individuals who have had spinal cord injury. But at this point, to tell you the truth, it’s too early to tell where this research may lead to, and if potentially there maybe clinical applications to it. Now from the treatment standpoint, we do use electrical stimulation with individuals who have some residual function. We know that individuals who have some ability to move a small part of their body, although it may not be normal, by using electrical stimulation either to the nerve or to the muscles, in conjunction with their other therapies, that it can be helpful and effective in enhancing the strength in those areas. But at the present time, in areas where a person has no ability to move the muscles, the use of electrical stimulation in those areas probably is not that effective in enhancing neurologic return.

What are the latest developments in the use of electrical stimulation for spinal cord injuries?
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