Tzu Chi Medical Journal

REVIEW ARTICLE
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29--33

Spinal cord stimulation for spinal cord injury patients with paralysis: To regain walking and dignity


Sheng-Tzung Tsai1, Yu-Chen Chen1, Hung-Yu Cheng2, Chun-Hsiang Lin2, Huan-Chen Lin2, Chich-Haung Yang3, Chung-Chao Liang2, Shin-Yuan Chen5 
1 Institute of Medical Sciences, Tzu Chi University; Department of Neurosurgery, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Hualien, Taiwan
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Hualien, Taiwan
3 Department of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sheng-Tzung Tsai
Department of Neurosurgery, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, 707, Section 3, Chung-Yang Road, Hualien
Taiwan

Spinal cord injury (SCI) usually leads to disconnection between traversing neuronal pathway. The impairment of neural circuitry and its ascending and descending pathway usually leave severe SCI patients with both motor disability and loss of sensory function. In addition to poor quality of life, SCI patients not only have disabling respiratory function, urinary retention, impaired sexual function, autonomic dysregulation but also medical refractory neuropathic pain in the long term. Some translational studies demonstrated that spinal networks possess a dynamic state of synaptic connection and excitability that can be facilitated by epidural spinal cord stimulation. In addition, preliminary human studies also confirmed that spinal cord stimulation enables stepping or standing in individuals with paraplegia as well. In this review, we examined the plausible interventional mechanisms underlying the effects of epidural spinal cord stimulation in animal studies. Following the success of translational research, chronic paralyzed subjects due to SCI, defined as motor complete status, regained their voluntary control and function of overground walking and even stepping for some. These progresses lead us into a new hope to help SCI patients to walk and regain their independent life again.


How to cite this article:
Tsai ST, Chen YC, Cheng HY, Lin CH, Lin HC, Yang CH, Liang CC, Chen SY. Spinal cord stimulation for spinal cord injury patients with paralysis: To regain walking and dignity.Tzu Chi Med J 2021;33:29-33


How to cite this URL:
Tsai ST, Chen YC, Cheng HY, Lin CH, Lin HC, Yang CH, Liang CC, Chen SY. Spinal cord stimulation for spinal cord injury patients with paralysis: To regain walking and dignity. Tzu Chi Med J [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jan 23 ];33:29-33
Available from: https://www.tcmjmed.com/article.asp?issn=1016-3190;year=2021;volume=33;issue=1;spage=29;epage=33;aulast=Tsai;type=0