When a Nebraska resident is involved in a serious car crash, the end result can be a devastating spinal cord injury. These types of injuries often lead to a lack of bodily control, and many spinal cord patients experience partial paralysis. The rehabilitative process that can follow a car accident can be long, difficult and frustrating. Fortunately, there are many groups around the world who are dedicated to finding technological solutions to these types of injuries.
An example lies in a group called the Walk Again Project, who have developed a complex exoskeleton for use in the rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries. A small group of participants, all but one of whom have full spinal cord injuries, have been training with the device, and every single participant has reported signs of recovery. All assert that they feel an improved sense of connection with their lower body, and improvements in tactile sensation were noted in every case.
The exoskeleton used in the project covers most of the body, and is equipped with a range of electronic sensors. The wearer dons an electrode cap that is capable of reading brain signals. When the wearer thinks about moving his or her legs, the suit responds by moving the legs forward. The wearer receives immediate feedback by way of response prompts embedded in the arms of the suit. In this way, participants are able to independently achieve forward movement of their body by sending signals from their brain.
For anyone who has suffered serious spinal cord injury in a car accident, this type of news provides hope. While the exoskeleton described in this report is still in the prototype stage, there are many other groups working to devise similar rehabilitative tools. Having access to the most technologically advanced rehab equipment requires the financial means to pay for those services. For those in Nebraska who have been injured due to the negligence of others, a personal injury lawsuit could provide the funds needed for rehab.
Source: nextbigfuture.com, “Exoskeleton helps spinal injured walk and reactivates nerves in some“, April 20, 2015