New Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury
Magnetic stimulation restores some movement, feeling with partial injuries
MONDAY, May 17, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Magnetic therapy could help people who have suffered partial damage to their spinal cord, claims a study in the May issue of Spinal Cord.
British doctors found magnetic stimulation of the brain led to improvements in muscle motion for patients with incomplete spinal cord injuries. The stimulation also helped them regain some ability to feel sensations.
The therapy uses an electromagnet placed on the scalp to generate brief magnetic pulses. It stimulates the cerebral cortex, the top area of the brain responsible for high-level neural processing.
"We think it works by strengthening the information leaving the brain through the undamaged neurons in the spinal cord," study co-author Dr. Nick Davey said in a prepared statement. "It may work like physiotherapy but instead of repeating a physical task, the machine activates the surviving nerves to strengthen their connections," he explained.
The National Institutes of Health has more about spinal cord injuries.