Paralysis Implant Shows Promise Outside Lab
Dr. Jonathan Jagid, chief of functional neurosurgery and researcher at University of Miami Health System, discusses a study in partnership with The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis that translates thoughts into movement for patients with spinal cord injury (SCI).
Narrator: Focusing on You. Innovations in Modern Medicine from your team of experts UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.
Pam Giganti: For anyone who is paralyzed, the dream is to be able to move freely again. Here at UHealth, neurosurgeons and biomedical engineers are using new robotic technology to help make that a reality. At the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, part of UHealth, a unique research study has helped a Miami man regain movement. Study participant, German Aldana, was paralyzed in a car accident when he was just 16 years old.
German Aldana: After my accident, I was sad, angry, a lot of emotion. I heard about the Miami Project and I was interested in this study to try to help cure paralysis.
Pam Giganti: As part of the study, devices were implanted in German’s chest and brain. When he thinks about moving his hands, it sends signals to a computer that communicates wirelessly to an orthotic glove.
Dr. Jonathan Jagid: The wireless capabilities of this, I think, allow us to potentially move this to a home setting.
German Aldana: Me being able to grab stuff, do all the movement I’m able to do now; it’s something I dreamed about.
Dr. Jonathan Jagid: The results have been absolutely striking and our hopes are that in the not too distant future, he can start to do these things outside of the lab. We will show that he can initiate step.
German Aldana: The goal is to walk again.