Electrodes help Oregon man overcome paralysis

Electrodes help Oregon man overcome paralysis

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 9 at 10:26 AM

PORTLAND -- An Oregon man is helping challenge the idea that people with damaged spinal cords cannot recover.

Rob Summers was a pitcher at Oregon State University before a car crash in 2006 paralyzed him from the chest down.

He went through intense physical therapy for three years without improvement. Then researchers implanted electrodes that mimicked his brain signals.

Now Summers and three others who had the same treatment can move muscles in their legs.

"Being able to move my toes, ankles, knees on command…It was absolutely incredible,” Summers said. “There are not enough words to describe how I felt. At one point it was just a dream, and now it's reality."

Researchers said the patients’ progress offers promise for six million paralyzed Americans.

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