SpinStim is focused on developing bioelectric stimulation and biologics products to help spinal cord injury patients recover.
Using physical therapy combined with a noninvasive method of stimulating nerve cells in the spinal cord may help these patients regain hand and arm movements.
Potential benefits of electrical stimulation for spinal cord injury include:
- Reduced pain (While electrical stimulation won’t get rid of the source of pain, it can change the way your brain reacts to pain.)
- Improved bowel and bladder control
- Stabilized blood pressure
- Enhanced movement patterns
- Reversibility (implants can be removed and treatment can be stopped at any time)
- Availability of non-invasive options (i.e. FES and TENS)
Several treatment interventions involve electrical stimulation.
How Electrical Stimulation for Spinal Cord Injury Works
The spinal cord relays messages between the brain and body.
After a spinal cord injury, messages may be unable to get past the site of injury, which can cause paralysis.
The nerves below the level of injury are not damaged. They just can’t receive messages from the brain and become inactive.
Electrical stimulation mimics brain signals to re-activate the nerves below one’s level of injury.
This can be done by stimulating: 1) the spinal cord below the injury site, or 2) the peripheral nerves that branch off the spinal cord.