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Robotic Rehab Helps Paralyzed Rats Walk Again 2

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Published on Jun 2, 2012

Robotic Rehab Helps Paralyzed Rats Walk Again.
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow...

Reference
Restoring Voluntary Control of Locomotion after Paralyzing Spinal Cord Injury
Science 1 June 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6085 pp. 1182-1185 DOI: 10.1126/science.1217416
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336...

Abstract
Half of human spinal cord injuries lead to chronic paralysis. Here, we introduce an electrochemical neuroprosthesis and a robotic postural interface designed to encourage supraspinally mediated movements in rats with paralyzing lesions. Despite the interruption of direct supraspinal pathways, the cortex regained the capacity to transform contextual information into task-specific commands to execute refined locomotion. This recovery relied on the extensive remodeling of cortical projections, including the formation of brainstem and intraspinal relays that restored qualitative control over electrochemically enabled lumbosacral circuitries. Automated treadmill-restricted training, which did not engage cortical neurons, failed to promote translesional plasticity and recovery. By encouraging active participation under functional states, our training paradigm triggered a cortex-dependent recovery that may improve function after similar injuries in humans.

- Supplementary Materials Video
Movie S1
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/sup...
This movie explains the concept of the multisystem neuroprosthetic training and shows the process through which rats with a paralyzing SCI recovered voluntary control of hindlimb locomotion. The movie also shows that treadmill-restricted training fails to restore voluntary locomotion, in spite of markedly improved stepping capacities on a treadmill (QuickTime; 6.6 MB)

Movie S2
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/sup...
This movie shows the complete loss of voluntary walking capacities after the ablation of thoracic relay neurons in rats that had recovered supraspinal control of locomotion with training. (QuickTime; 2.4 MB).

Movie S3
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/sup...
This movie shows the modulation of motor cortex neurons during gait initiation, sustained locomotion, and correction events. The sequence of corrections is shown for a trial on a staircase. The movie also shows the complete loss of voluntary locomotion after microinjections of muscimol in the left motor cortex. (QuickTime; 4.8 MB).

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