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Spinal implant offers promise for the paralysed

Swiss researchers have developed an implant that allows patients with a complete spinal cord injury to stand and walk again (video).

The research at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) created an implant, controlled by artificial-intelligence, to stimulate the region of the spinal cord that activates the trunk and leg muscles.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, were based on years of studies using monkeys and rats.

"This is not a cure for spinal cord injury. But it is a critical step to improve people's quality of life. We are going to empower people. We are going to give them the ability to stand, to take some steps. It is not enough, but it is a significant improvement," said leading scientist Grégoire Courtine to the BBC.

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