Being told that you've been injured in such a way that you'll never walk again must be absolutely horrific. Such a loss of mobility would mean not only a great loss of one's options in life, but also having to worry about the peripheral effects that the loss of mobility could have on your health, such as a loss of bone density or the weakening of your cardiovascular system. For those who have to pay for their own healthcare, it could mean bankruptcy. I wouldn't even want to consider the sort of stress it would place on an individual's psyche, not to mention the emotional toll it would have on their loved ones. However, a breakthrough in treating spinal cord injuries made by the University of Louisville could, one day, make paralysis a thing of the past.
From The Verge:
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Thomas and Jeff Marquis, who was paralyzed after a mountain biking accident, can now independently walk again after participating in a study at the University of Louisville that was published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Thomas’ balance is still off and she needs a walker, but she can walk a hundred yards across grass. She also gained muscle and lost the nerve pain in her foot that has persisted since her accident. Another unnamed person with a spinal cord injury can now independently step across the ground with help from a trainer, according to a similar study at the Mayo Clinic that was also published today in the journal Nature Medicine.