Hope for car crash victims with spinal cord injuries

Being involved in a serious car accident can change the course of an individual's life from one second to the next. For those in Massachusetts who have sustained spinal cord injuries in a car crash, the pain and sudden loss of mobility can be overwhelming. An ongoing project at one of the nation's top research universities may offer hope to those who have suffered spinal cord trauma.

The research focuses on the use of a brain chip to help relay signals from the human brain to paralyzed limbs. According to researchers, the problem is one of connectivity, not of inability to function. Spinal cord damage simply places roadblocks in the path of neural transmissions that control the function of limbs. This brain chip serves to make those signals effectively "wireless," which means that the damage done to the spinal cord will not prevent the transmission of signals.

In 2011, approximately $18.5 million in grant money was provided to fund this research. As a result, various aspects of the project have enjoyed considerable success. Researchers have discovered ways to use ultrasound to power implanted devices. Others have worked on using Bluetooth to transmit signals between implanted devices. In short, this research has the power to create innovative medical devices that can change the quality of life for spinal cord patients.

As with all new forms of technology, implanted brain chips will be expensive treatment options once they become available in the health care market. For those in Massachusetts who have been injured in a car crash, it is important to seek legal recourse. A successful personal injury lawsuit can help ensure that patients have the resources needed to access cutting-edge technology, such as the research mentioned here.

Source: timesofsandiego.com, "SDSU's Brain Chip Could Eliminate Spinal Cord Injury Paralysis", Alexander Nguyen, Oct. 26, 2015