Implant, intense rehab help 3 paralyzed for years take steps

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three people whose legs were paralyzed for years can stand and take steps again thanks to an electrical implant that zaps the injured spinal cord — along with months of intense rehab, researchers reported Monday.

The milestone, reported by two teams of scientists working separately, isn’t a cure. The patients walk only with assistance — holding onto a rolling walker or with other help to keep their balance. Switch off the spinal stimulator and they no longer can voluntarily move their legs.

But during one physical therapy session at the Mayo Clinic, 29-year-old Jered Chinnock moved back and forth enough to cover about the length of a football field.

COMMENTS