Makers of a device that works on spinal cord stimulation are experimenting with nontraditional sources of funding in an effort to bring new paralysis treatment to patients. The Phoenix, Az-based company BioAccel provided details about their efforts with the Revive Crowdfunding Campaign in a recent media release.

The company reports that is treatment approach for spinal cord stimulation has improved and, in some cases also restored, independent standing and voluntary movement in nearly 20 patients who were affected by complete or partial paralysis because of spinal cord injury. Further more the company reports that the patients experienced varying degrees of restored autonomic function (bladder, bowel, sexual function, and blood pressure control).

If successful, BioAccel’s strategy will help expand the availability of the device to individuals who have not yet able to participate in the ongoing research trials.

The story of one such participant, chronicled by ABC, is that of a college baseball all-star pitcher left paralyzed by a hit-and-run accident. As a result of the life-altering spinal cord stimulation treatment, he was able to move his torso, feel sensations, and regain control of important body functions.  Another young patient whose interview is viewable on the campaign website, was able to start picking up pills on his own and, eventually, to regain the ability to eat with a fork and to write his own name again. He describes how the treatment works, “They put it on, right on the spot of my injury, around the C5 area, and that’s when I felt tingling…”

While this treatment has reportedly been effective for those were were part of early studies, there are still many people who do not have access to this treatment.  The campaign video concludes with a patient with a high neck injury  (C3) who says that his life would be “completely different” if he could regain even a small amount of motor control, noting that he would be able to breathe on his own, without a ventilator, and that he would be able to move his arms and regain his sense of independence.

The groups involved aim to raise $300,000 via crowdfunding to boost development of NeuroRecovery’s proprietary external stimulator system.

[Source: BioAccel]