Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A future treatment for HSP?

Spotted this on the BBC news website today:

Essentially, researchers have put an electrical stimulation on the spinal chord below an injury site to allow muscles to be activated. This is, essentially, the same as functional electrical stimulation but with the stimulation being applied to the spine rather than the muscles being stimulated.

This technique is regarded as new and has potential to treat spinal injury. The technique allows patients to make voluntary muscle movements, even several years after their injury.

According to the BBC report there was also an improvement in bowel/bladder function as well, although this is not mentioned in the paper reporting this study.

This paper is available in full free of charge.
"Altering spinal cord excitability enables voluntary movements after chronic complete paralysis in humans."
doi: 10.1093/brain/awu038

I suppose that the main issue with applying this to HSP is that the degeneration of the spine is quite low down and this may make the electrical stimulation quite tricky. Also there is some mention of the brain using the stimulation to reprogram the existing nerves in the spine, so another issue could be the extent of the degeneration.

1 comment:

  1. I was finally diagnosed with HSP last year.
    I'm 37, and have noticed my gait and walking/pain is getting worse.
    I just wanted to say thank you for your blog.