Recovery of the Function in Major Spinal Cord Injury Using Epidural Stimulation

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Joel Burdick

Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering

Abstract

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) affects nearly 1,250,000 people in the U.S. This talk focuses on a recent collaboration between Caltech, UCLA, and Univ. of Louisville aimed at developing new therapies for motor complete SCI based on multi-electrode arrays implanted over the lumbosacral spinal cord. SCI patients receiving this therapy have been able to stand independently and make some voluntary movements.  They have made surprising gains in cardiovascular health as well as improved autonomic function such as bladder, bowel, and blood pressure regulation.