Riders4Riders funded from 2013 an extremely innovative research project carried out by Professor Gregoire Courtine, who runs the Neuroprotesis Center at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the most important Swiss research institute.
Dr. Courtine’s project consists in creating a neural transmitter, or a chip embedded in the cerebral cortex, transmitting the brain engine commands, through electric impulses, to another chip planted in the spine.
The second chip will be directly linked to the spinal cord, upstream and downstream of the lesion to create a bridge, so the brain impulses will physically bypass the injured part, allowing the commands to reach and then voluntarily control the movements. All this is allowed through advanced neuro-rehabilitation procedures. While this is not a true “cure” in the traditional sense of the word, it is currently the research that has the greatest chance of giving a concrete solution to paraplegia.
Dr. Courtine, contacted by us at the beginning of March 2017, informed us that the project has finally passed on human experimentation, for now only in Switzerland but in the near future will be tested in many large hospitals around the world. He also announced the beginning of the trial in subjects with tetraplegia (ie a lesion that also affects the upper limbs). As you can imagine, these injuries are clinically much more complicated than a paraplegia, so research, unfortunately, goes slower and with more difficulties…
That is why your contribution is increasingly needed!
Riders4Riders funded this project through the interplay of Wings for Life, a world-renowned Austrian organization that finances and sponsors the most innovative research in the field of spinal cord injury.
More than 2.5 million people in the world are afflicted with spinal injuries
In Italy, there are over 100,000
About 80% of the injured are less than 40 years old
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