Hope for patients who have lost the mobility of their hands after a spinal cord injury gives a new treatment developed by scientists in Switzerland.

The Greek is also a member of the research team Achilleas Laskaratoswho explains to SKAI how patients manage to use their hands again thanks to the application of an external device that electrically stimulates the nerves in the injured area.

Normally, the brain sends instructions to move the arms and legs via nerves in the spine. If there is an injury ta more nerves are cut and the patient is paralyzed. Thanks to this device developed by scientists in Switzerland, patients in combination with physical therapy can move their arms again.

SKAI spoke with the Greek researcher of the EPFL university team.

“The device of this treatment it has two edges which are placed on the skin at the back of the patient’s neck and send an electric current to stimulate the nerve cells in the spinal cord and make them again able to respond to the commands coming from the brain and send the signals to the muscles for the patient to do and again with his hands the movement he wants”, Mr. Laskaratos emphasized to our station.

The first clinical study was carried out in America and Europe in 60 patients and 3/4 of these patients showed improvement in the functionality of the hands and 9 out of 10 improvement in hand strength and in their quality of life.

“Spinal cord electrical stimulation can improve hand function in both stroke patients and gait in Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury patients so we believe that this treatment in the future may have applications in a range of neurological diseases » notes the Greek researcher.

The treatment is under evaluation by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) with the goal of being available in US hospitals in 2024, while from next year it may also be available in Europe.