Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spinal cord injury patients show improvement in early device study

11.01.2005


Treatment for spinal cord injury leading to paralysis continues to stymie physicians but a clinical trial at the Indiana University School of Medicine reported in the January issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery - Spine may point researchers in a positive direction.



Ten patients with complete motor and sensory spinal cord injury were implanted with an experimental device designed to regenerate nerve fibers, promoting some degree of functional recovery. The device, an oscillating field stimulator or OFS, creates an electrical field in the area of injury.

All 10 trial participants implanted with the OFS showed some improvement in sensation at six months and the nine patients who remained in the trial also showed improvement one year post surgery, although the degree of improvement varied by patient.


Two of the patients recovered some lower extremity function, and one man had restored sexual function. All patients participating in the trial had sustained complete motor and sensory spinal cord injury within 18 days of the surgery.

"This isn’t a home run, but it warrants additional investigation," said Scott Shapiro, M.D., professor of neurosurgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. "The big question was whether the procedure, which is very invasive and requires two surgeries, is efficacious and the initial results indicate that it is."

The cigarette lighter-sized oscillating field stimulator was developed at Purdue University and first tested in more than 100 dogs crippled by naturally occurring spinal cord injuries. The prognosis for severely injured paraplegic dogs, even with current treatment techniques, remains poor.

"The results of these various animal studies were positive and somewhat mirrored what was later observed in humans, including recovery of sensation and other important functions," said Richard Borgens, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering in the Center for Paralysis Research at Purdue.

In the IU School of Medicine study, the OFS was surgically removed at 15 weeks and patients were followed for one year.

Three tests were used to evaluate sensory recovery: pinprick sensation, light touch sensation and motor function. Patients recorded a net improvement at one year of 20.4 points (maximum 112) pinprick sensation, 25.5 points (maximum 112) light touch sensation, and 6.3 points (maximum 100) for improved motor function.

The patients had no sensation below the level of their injury prior to the implantation of the OFS, said Dr. Shapiro. Afterwards, the patients’ sensation was almost back to normal in the immediate area affected by their injury where nerve regeneration occurred.

"This was a pilot device trial," said Dr. Shapiro, the lead author of the journal article and chief of neurosurgery at Wishard Memorial Hospital. "Some patients did regain sensation and motor function in their lower extremities but not enough to stand unassisted. However, the improvement experienced by the patients is encouraging and deserves more study."

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a second clinical trial involving 10 additional patients with severe spinal cord injuries. It is expected to begin at the IU Medical Center in early 2005. This trial will again explore the efficacy of the OFS device and could lead to a larger randomized trial for spinal cord injury patients.

Mary Hardin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iupui.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum Technology for Advanced Imaging – QUILT

24.04.2018 | Information Technology

AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice

24.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>