Video: Paralysed rats trained to walk again
New hope for cure for spinal injuries
DRAMATIC video of paralysed rats walking and even climbing stairs has given new hope of a cure for people with spinal cord injuries.
Swiss scientists were able to stimulate nerves to grow around damage in the spinal cord, restoring movement in the animals' hind legs.
"Our rats have become athletes when just weeks before they were completely paralysed," Dr Gregoire Courtine of the EPFL research group in Lausanne said.
"I am talking about 100% recuperation of voluntary movement."
The scientists injected chemicals directly into the spinal cord, and stimulated the nerves with electrical impulses.
The rats were then trained to walk again while in a specially designed harness. The equipment supported them if they lost their balance, but rats had to use willpower to reach a chocolate reward.
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