Reversing paralysis: A new breakthrough in medical science

Stroke is one of the most prevalent medical conditions that affects a sizable portion of the world population. It is one of the leading causes of death and disability, which can easily translate to financial catastrophe on the part of the patients and their families. Risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and an unhealthy lifestyle lead to its development. Modern lifestyle isn’t helping curb the chance for this debilitating condition either. One of the dreaded complications of the disease is unilateral paralysis, most commonly in the face. When hemiplegia strikes, there is no escaping it. This will certainly hinder a person’s activities of daily living.

 

Image source: amsvans.com

 

Scientists are determined to reverse the occurrence of such complication. A French neuroscientist had the idea of installing a recording chip inside the skull of a monkey who was suffering from right leg paralysis due to his spinal cord being cut halfway with a scalpel. Another set of electrodes are then attached to the spinal cord below the site of injury. The result is a device which would read the monkey’s intention to walk thereby transmitting that desire as electrical signals into the end organ.

 

Image source: pharmaphorum.com

 

Throughout the experiments that Grégoire Courtine and his colleagues have done, it seems that they are actually gaining a lot of progress. Initially, they have observed minimal movement in the affected limb. The specimen then extended and flexed his leg, hobbling forward in the process. The monkey’s thoughts of wanting to move made him able to walk again. There is still a lot of time before it can be used for human trials. It may even take as much as 20 years before it becomes operational, but the technology is showing a lot of promise.

 

Image source: christopherreeve.org

 

Within the healthcare and medical sector, plenty of breakthroughs are being made year after year. The aforesaid is just one of them, and many governments, private organizations, non-profits, and R&D institutions are spending billions of dollars every year to bring more medical innovations, and consequently, improve the quality of life. This makes the industry not only a beacon of hope for humanity, but also an attractive investment opportunity for investors, businesses, and even ordinary workers. Healthcare and medical stocks for example, are staple components of many portfolios. For financial institutions like LOM Asset Management, Bloomberg, and the Wall Street, the sector could be just as essential and profitable as other tech industries such as telecommunications and semiconductors.

 

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Brian Carter

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