Limb Reanimation After Spinal Cord Injury

Carmen Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic and Kendall Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic, discuss limb reanimation after spinal cord injury.

Dr. Lee highlighted two aspects of the research. He and his team, including doctoral student Peter Grahn, who is himself a spinal cord injury patient, and Dr. Kristin Zhao of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, have received a Mayo Clinic Transform the Practice grant to study the possibility of restoring lower extremity motor function in patients with paralysis-inducing spinal cord injuries by the use of epidural functional electrical stimulation.

This represents a replication of work by Dr. Susie Harkema at the University of Louisville and Dr. Reggie Edgerton at UCLA in the application of existing stimulator technologies to novel therapies. The Mayo Clinic Division of Engineering, chaired by Professor Kevin Bennet and Dr. Lee’s Neural Engineering Laboratory are also developing next-generation devices for implantation and stimulation directly into the spinal cord, which they hope will be more effective than the existing external epidural stimulator devices being used in their current study.

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