U of L Researchers Using Grant To Develop Spinal Cord Treatment

Researchers at the University of Louisville say a $6.3 million grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust will allow them to develop new technology toward the goal of helping paralyzed people walk again.

U of L Professor of Neurological Surgery Dr. Susan Harkema’s team and researchers elsewhere are getting promising results using electrical stimulation on the lower spinal cords of patients.

But Harkema says the current technology has limitations and can only be used in a laboratory setting.

“We’re still working on that project. Nobody’s walking from epidural stimulation, but we have individuals who can stand for minutes at a time and can actually move toes, ankles, knees and legs).

Harkema says the Helmsley grant announced last week will help researchers develop a better electrical stimulator that can be used in a patient’s home.