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Monday, September 21, 2009


Gregoire Courtine and a team of scientists from Zurich University, have succeeded to put paraplegic rats that could not move his hind legs, walking again on a treadmill of low speed, as they were administered certain drugs and electrical impulses in the spinal cord below the site of injury. The study according to Nature Neuroscience, breaks the paradigm that established as necessary connections between the brain and spinal cord regeneration of broken nerve fibers), to restore movement.

Courtine argues according to the study the existence of rather autonomous neural circuits in the spinal cord without involvement of the brain, capable of generating rhythmic activity that moves leg muscles in a way similar to the movement of the lower extremities in walking action, achieving that rats take steps, walk backward, to sideways and run when the machine demanded a higher rate. An external action aimed to restore movement that could eventually be applied to humans. Using neuro-prosthetic devices could be formed a bridge between the brain and muscles "unplugged" setting the rhythmic core circuit.

Cura de ratas parapléjicas

Gregoire Courtine y un equipo de cientificos de la Universidad de Zurich, han logrado que ratas parapléjicas que no podían mover las patas traseras, vuelvan a caminar sobre una cinta de baja velocidad, mientras les administraban ciertos fármacos y les aplicaban impulsos eléctricos en la médula espinal, por debajo del lugar de la lesión. El estudio según Nature Neuroscience, rompe el paradigma que establecía necesarias conexiones entre el cerebro y la médula espinal (regeneración de fibras nerviosas rotas), para recuperar el movimiento.

Para Courtine el estudio sostiene más bien la existencia de circuitos nerviosos autónomos en la médula espinal sin intervención del cerebro, capaces de generar una actividad rítmica que mueve músculos de las piernas de una manera parecida al movimiento de las extremidades inferiores en acción de caminar, logrando que las ratas den pasos, caminen hacia atrás, a los lados y corran cuando la máquina les exigíó un ritmo más alto. Una acción externa al cerebro tendiente a recuperar el movimiento y que eventualmente podría aplicarse a seres humanos. Mediante dispositivos neuro-prostéticos se podría tender un puente entre la lesión medular y los músculos "desconectados", activando al circuito rítmico medular.



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