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Paralyzed rats walk again

September 21, 2009
By Susan Howley


In a breakthrough study funded in part by the Reeve Foundation, scientists at UCLA and the University of Zurich tested a three-part intervention to promote recovery of function in paralyzed rats.

The rats, whose spinal cords were completely transected, were given a combination of quipazine and epidural electrical stimulation, intended to activate the spinal cord's neural circuitry and make it functional once again. Then the rats were given locomotor training. The combination was extremely effective: the animals were able to fully bear weight on the treadmill and their locomotion was almost indistinguishable from their voluntary stepping before injury.

Published online in Nature Neuroscience (20 September 209), the study was led by V. Reggie Edgerton, PhD and Gregoire Courtine, PhD. Dr. Edgerton is a member of the Reeve Foundation's International Research Consortium on Spinal Cord Injury and Dr. Courtine, now an independent scientist in Zurich, is a former Consortium Associate from the Edgerton lab.

Watch the story on the Today Show this morning (Monday, September 21).

Q&A by the New York Times with Reggie Edgerton.

Read more about this breakthrough.

Find out how locomotor training is working in humans today.

Even if you German is not so great, here is a news story with some great video in the lab where the research was done.

Original source: http://communities.kintera.org

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