Thanks to a hero of science – Professor V. Reggie Edgerton at UCLA – and laboratory rats, the prognosis for people with severe spinal injuries is transforming right before our eyes. This is what science has to offer. This is what animal rights activists are afraid of, but we cannot and will not let them stop this kind of life-transforming research.
This weeks issue of the neuroscience journal Brain carries an unusual image; against a background of nerve activity traces a man lies on the ground, and as you scan down the images he lifts his right leg off the ground. For most people this might just be a simple warm-up exercise, but for Kent Stephenson it was little short of a miracle, because he has suffered complete paralysis after suffering a mid-thoracic spinal cord injury. Speaking about his experience Kent noted that “Everything’s impossible until somebody does it”, and this is a breakthrough that is possible due to animal research.
Kent was one of four patients participating in a pilot study of epidural electrical stimulation sponsored by the Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation, which is overseen by an international team comprising of Claudia Angeli and Susan J. Harkema of the University of Louisville, Yury Gerasimenko of the St. Petersburg’s…
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