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The hope was to give control of the paralyzed arm to a healthy

In 18 patients, surgeons found a nerve feeding the affected arm – the C7 nerve, which exits the spine at the base of the neck – and severed it near the spinal cord RG11/U-Messenged Cables Shanghai: Doctors in Shanghai say they have made paralyzed arms useful again by surgically swapping a nerve coming out of the spinal cord. “Certainly that can’t be from regeneration.The Xu team acknowledged that just severing the nerve leading to the paralyzed arm may have helped release the spasticity, making rehabilitation easier. Wen-Dong Xu of Fudan University, did not respond to emailed questions.But the small study is sparking skepticism because the improvements seemed to appear faster than nerves are typically able to grow.Then, on the other side of the spinal cord, surgeons cut the healthy C7 nerve feeding the unaffected arm, rerouted it behind the esophagus, and grafted it onto the nerve leading to the affected arm. Robert Spinner, chairman of neurosurgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said it’s possible the benefits were caused by simply cutting the bad nerve leading to the affected arm, a much simpler procedure than the nerve transfer surgery. The side effects often subsided over time. Their paralysis was due to brain injuries including strokes, cerebral palsy and head trauma. “To cut the bad wire would be a lot easier than doing their procedure. Twelve patients in the surgery group reported a strange feeling while swallowing and 15 reported fatigue.

On average, patients had been paralyzed for 15 years and had undergone 10 years of rehabilitation. The C7 accounts for about 20% of the nerve impulses going into an arm.A year after the surgery, “the paralyzed arm showed improved power, function and reduced spasticity,” they report in The New England Journal of Medicine.The results “are exciting but need clarification and confirmation,” Spinner and two colleagues wrote in a Journal editorial.After surgery, 16 of the 18 could perform at least three of those tasks.They noted that nerves usually grow an inch per month, so 12 months would not be enough time to make a direct connection from the spine to the hand. The hope was to give control of the paralyzed arm to a healthy part of the brain.“In their paper they say they saw some improvements after one month,” Spinner noted. None of the rehabilitation-only patients could.Before surgery, none of the patients could reach or grasp with the paralyzed hand, and none could dress, tie shoes, wring out a towel, or operate a mobile phone with the affected arm and hand, researchers reported.“These results are very exciting because this is a very big problem in America and the world.”. Volunteers in the rehabilitation-only group went from 29.

The question really is, what’s causing the effect,” he said in a telephone interview.7 points.It’s more likely that cutting the nerve produced the benefits by stopping the hand and arm muscles from spasming, allowing other nerves that move the arm to work more effectively, Spinner believes.These results are very exciting because this is a very big problem in America and the world. One way to test that would be to just cut the C7 nerve and see if that is enough to produce the improvements, he said.On a 67-point movement scale, the surgery group collectively started at 29.The other 18 volunteers simply received the same four-times-per-week rehabilitation regimen that the surgery group did.”The senior author of the study, Dr.1 points to 31.There were side effects. Usually full results from long-distance regeneration take several years.In 18 patients, surgeons found a nerve feeding the affected arm – the C7 nerve, which exits the spine at the base of the neck – and severed it near the spinal cord.The randomized trial involved 36 men at Huashan Hospital, all of whom had at least some muscle power and the ability detect touch. But they said there was evidence that nerve cells were reconnecting the brain to the arm.7 after 12 months.0 points and ended at 46.“Nerves do not regenerate that quickly, fully, or consistently,” they said. In the healthy arm that originally got signals from the C7 nerve, hand numbness was reported by 16 people, 16 said they couldn’t extend their wrists with as much force as they could before, 15 said they couldn’t extend their elbow as forcefully as before, and 16 reported lessened sensory function.

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