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Artificially reconnecting damaged tissue could restore movement in paralytics

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via <a href="http://www.nips.ac.jp/contents/release/images/nisimura20130411-1.jpg">www.nips.ac.jp</a>
via www.nips.ac.jp

Paralyzed individuals currently rely on robotic prosthetics to recover their lost movement, but new research shows that natural movement may be able to be restored by reconnecting damaged parts of an individual's nervous system. Researchers in Tokyo, Japan and Seattle, Washington demonstrated that by implanting connections between sites in the patient's brain and spine, some movement could be restored. The research was performed on a partially paralyzed monkey with spinal cord damage, and the team was ultimately able to improve spinal stimulation and muscle activity. The initial results suggest to the team that this method could be used for individuals who have had a stroke or suffered spinal cord injuries to help restore natural mental control of their extremities.