Can Medical Research Help Heal Spinal Cord Injury?

 In 2007, Andrew Meas was riding home from the gym when his life was changed forever. An elderly driver crashed into Meas’ motorcycle head-on, and despite wearing safety gear, Meas suffered damage to the sixth and seventh vertebrae in his spine. The injury would leave him paralyzed in the lower half of his body. After over a year of physical therapy, it seemed that Meas would not recover the use of his legs, but a study at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center gave the rider hope. Now his prospects for being able to walk again are looking much better.

How Can Medical Research Help Heal Motorcycle Injuries?

In 2011, Meas joined a research team lead by Susan Harkema. Using continuous electric current, the researchers hoped to make breakthroughs in the science of spinal cord injury rehabilitation, but they weren’t expecting results like this.

After being implanted with 16 electrodes, Meas was able to eventually stand on his own and even stand on one leg. Though he could only do so for short periods of time, it was progress, and so his therapy continued. For 34 ½ months, Meas trained at the center and at home, trying to make incremental improvements. This is when he surprised researchers.

After months of hard work, Meas managed to stand and balance on one foot without stimulation from the electrodes. Researchers were stunned, but continued their study and eventually released their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.

This breakthrough has the potential to change the way we treat spinal cord injuries, which is good news not only for injured motorcyclists, but for everyone. The Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center has plans to expand their research on this style of treatment. They are going to include eight new participants in their study and see how they respond to a treatment method similar to Meas’. Do you think they’ll revolutionize the way we treat these kinds of injuries? The motorcycling attorneys at Metier Law Firm can’t wait to find out.

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