When the spinal cord is damaged, the connection between the brain and some part of the body may be lost.

To restore this connection, researches are considering either:

  • Repairing the damaged area so that the spinal cord works again.

  • Bypassing the spinal cord by connecting the brain directly to the affected part of the body. This is done by implants in the brain connected directly to electrodes in the muscles creating a new circuit in parallel.

My question is has there been any attempt to bypass only the damaged part of the spinal cord? To create a bridge over the damaged tissue?

  • $\begingroup$ This question is poorly worded and hard to answer as it stands. Consider restating more clearly what you are asking. $\endgroup$ – V_ix Mar 26 '14 at 3:19
  • $\begingroup$ Ok sorry I am not a native english speaker, I will try to be more clear $\endgroup$ – agemO Mar 27 '14 at 20:25

Interesting question!

There has been at least one study that bypassed a spinal lesion site with autografted neuronal tissue (Tadie et al., 2004 - doi:10.1089/089771502320317069). The study participant regained voluntary motor skills 8 months after bypass surgery. The surgery involved the implantation of nerve autografts between the rostral spinal ventral horn and the caudal ventral roots. Regain of motor function was observed after the patient had been paralyzed for 3 years.

  • $\begingroup$ Nice answer, I was talking more about electronic solutions but it is still interesting. I cannot access the entire article, what is a "nerve autografts" ? $\endgroup$ – agemO Dec 14 '14 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ Nerve autografts are nerve grafts taken from the recipient himself/herself (auto means 'self' in this context). $\endgroup$ – AliceD Dec 18 '14 at 0:32

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