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Spinal cord injuries, a digital bridge recovers the use of the limbs – Healthcare

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Spinal cord injuries, a digital bridge recovers the use of the limbs – Healthcare

Piedmont and Switzerland have joined forces in the challenge to restore voluntary control of the hands and arms to patients with spinal cord injuries through the creation of a sort of digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord of injured patients.
The fruit of this collaboration is the five-year research project Brain Spine Interface, presented today in the new hospital in Verduno, in the Cuneo area, in the presence of the governor of Piedmont Alberto Cirio. It involves the University of Lausanne and the Center Hospitalier Universitaire with the support of the Crt Foundation, which has provided 750 thousand euros, in collaboration with the Alba-Bra Hospital Foundation.
The research has already produced results on the movement of the legs, controlled directly by the patient’s brain, in which a wireless mechanism capable of electrically stimulating the spinal cord and consequently the muscles is implanted.
The same principle will now be applied to the movement of the upper limbs.
The research builds on the success achieved by two neuroscientists from the University of Lausanne, professors Jocelyne Bloch and Grégoire Courtine: the Crt Foundation presented them for the first time to the Italian scientific community, connecting them with the academic, institutional and productive world at the Polytechnic of Turin.
Traumatic spinal injuries affect approximately 130 thousand people a year in the world and almost two thousand in Italy.

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