Epidural stimulation has been introduced to Better Being Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, as treatment for spinal cord injury. The procedure, which reportedly is considered “new” in this part of Asia, is being performed by Torsak Tip-Pairote, MD, a founder of Thailand Institute for Functional Medicine, and found of Better Being Hosptial.
According to a media release from Leading Edge Medical, Ltd, Tip-Pairote is the first physician outside of North America to perform the procedure that allows spinal cord stimulation. The process is described as the application of a continuous electrical current — at varying frequencies and intensities — to specific locations on the lower part of the spinal cord. It involves an implanted device over the dura of the lumbar cord where the central pattern generator (CPG) exists.
The release described the CPG as a “mini-brain within the spinal cord” that is designed to interpret sensory information. Epidural stimulation is being used to activate the nerve circuits in the spinal cord to provide signals that would normally come from the brain.
A remote about the size of a smartphone reportedly controls the stimulator. When the stimulator is on, commands such as “move my right leg” are said to result in movement. The application of the electrical pulses are reported to have an effect of “awakening” the nerve cells in the spinal cord.
[Source: Leading Edge Medical, Ltd]