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Learn how patients learned to walk again thanks to money being raised.
The Wings for Life World Run, which this year takes place on May 5, is literally changing lives. Here is all you need to know:
- Three participants have been given the ability to walk again following ground-breaking research, in part funded by the money raised by the annual run.
- Professors Grégoire Courtine and Jocelyne Bloch worked together on a clinical study using precise electrical stimulation of the spinal cord courtesy of an implant into the patients’ spines combined with robot-assisted movement training to get those on the trial to walk again.
- "I always see the treatment for spinal chord injuries as a complicated puzzle," Courtine said in a video interview. "One part of the puzzle comes from engineering, one is rehabilitation and one is biological repair. When these three blocks work well together we will have a great impact on the recorvery of spinal chord injured #people."
- "This why is it is very important to have a foundation like Wings for Life World Run, bringing the scientists with this multi-facetted experience together around the same objective. After this proof of concept in Stimo, the next key steps is to do the same treatment but earlier, after the injury when the potential recovery is much higher."
- Explaining how it works, Bloch said: “We implant an array of electrodes over the spinal cord, which allows us to target individual muscle groups in the legs. Selected configurations of electrodes activate specific regions of the spinal cord, mimicking the signals that the brain would deliver to produce walking.”
- The patients then had to learn to coordinate their brain’s intention to walk with targeted electrical stimulation, and all three patients were able to walk using bodyweight support within a week.
- After five months of treatment, the trio's movement and ability to control their muscles had noticeably improved, and they could switch on and off their stimulator.
- David Mzee, who had not walked for seven years since an accident, said: “It’s an amazing feeling – let’s see how far we can go with this technology.”
- One participant, Gert-Jan Oskam was told he would never walk again after a road-traffic accident. After the trial, he said: “Now I can walk short distances with the help of electrical stimulation and crutches. I should be able to have a BBQ standing on my own in the near future.”
To help raise vital funds for more groundbreaking research and find a cure for spinal cord injury, sign up to the Wings for Life World Run at 11am UTC on Sunday May 5.
About the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation
Worldwide, millions of #people are dependent on a wheelchair after having sustained a spinal cord injury, most often as the result of a traffic accident or a fall. Wings for Life is a not-for-profit spinal cord research foundation with the single mission to find a cure for spinal cord injury. Since 2004, Wings for Life has funded life-changing research projects and clinical trials around the globe. While a cure is still to be found, steady progress has been made. One hundred percent of the Wings for Life World Run entry fees and fundraising from this global running #Event will help work toward Wings for Life’s ultimate goal. Every step taken at the Wings for Life World Run and with the Wings for Life World Run App is a step in the right direction – http://www.wingsforlife.com
About the Wings for Life World Run
On one day each year the Wings for Life World Run is held simultaneously in numerous locations and via the App across the world, everyone starting at the same time, whether day or night, and all with the same goal – to raise money for the Wings for Life Foundation. Under its unique format, participants run as far as they can until they are passed by a moving finish line, the “Catcher Car,” which chasesrunners along the course or virtual in the App, gradually getting faster until each participant has been caught. This moving finish line allows participants of any ability to complete the run – the slower ones are passed early while ultra athletes go on for hours. 100% of entry fees and donations goes toward helping to find a cure for spinal cord injury; and in the fifth editions since it was launched in 2014, the World Run has attracted more than 500,000 #people from 193 nationalities to participate in more than 66 countries across all seven continents.
The Wings for Life World Run App
The Wings for Life World Run App allows everyone, everywhere, to join the global movement. By activating the App, runners can take part in the Wings for Life World Run, chased by a virtual Catcher Car, at the same time as all Wings for Life World Runners across the globe. #people can set out their own course when running individually with the App and in many locations around the world Organized App Runs take place, where #people run in groups using the App.
http://www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com #wingsforlife #worldrun
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