A multi-year STIMO study by scientists at .NeuroRestore, ONWARD Medical N.V.’s research partner, has identified the specific neurons that are activated and remodeled by spinal cord stimulation, enabling individuals with spinal cord injury to stand, walk, and rebuild their muscles. This discovery marks a fundamental, scientific breakthrough. The study was published recently in Nature.

In the study, coordinated by .NeuroRestore’s co-directors – Grégoire Courtine, a neuroscience professor at EPFL and Chief Scientific Officer of ONWARD, and Jocelyne Bloch, a neurosurgeon at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) – participants with paralysis due to spinal cord injury underwent targeted epidural electrical stimulation of the area of the spinal cord that controls leg movement. Remarkably, all participants regained motor function and the ability to walk. Three participants in the study pioneered use of an innovative lead developed by ONWARD to specifically target the areas of the spinal cord involved in leg and lower trunk movement with the intent to facilitate faster and more effective recovery of motor function. 

The scientists believe it is crucial to understand exactly how neuronal reorganization occurs to develop more effective treatments and improve the lives of as many people as possible. For more information, visit EPFL.

“The findings published yesterday continue to build our strong knowledge base in spinal cord stimulation to help people with paralysis. As a result of this study and its accompanying scientific breakthrough, ONWARD and its research partners have learned precisely where to place the epidural lead and how to program stimulation to facilitate walking,” said Dave Marver, CEO of ONWARD. “This important work is enabling us to develop a therapy for people with spinal cord injury that aims to be precise, repeatable, and scalable.”

[Source: ONWARD Medical]