The amazing part of this experiment was that if you believe in the power of positive thinking…
And you watched WHAT THE BLEEP more than twice….
And you believe in the power of visualization and of the brain to rewire itself….
YOU WERE RIGHT!
The article was published in SCIENCE MAGAZINE today, June 1, 2012.
The rats had severe (not moderate) spinal cord injuries and were rehabbed with a combination of electric stimulus and the rats were also shown a big reward – chocolate, that they had to “visualize themselves” getting.
“After a couple of weeks of neurorehabilitation with a combination of a robotic harness and electrical-chemical stimulation, our rats are not only voluntarily initiating a walking gait, but they are soon sprinting, climbing up stairs and avoiding obstacles when stimulated,” Courtine, chairman of the International Paraplegic Foundation, said in a statement.
The brain and spinal cord can adapt and recover from moderate injury, a quality known as neuroplasticity, but until now, the spinal cord expressed so little plasticity after severe injury that recovery was impossible.
Courtine said his findings prove, under certain conditions, plasticity and recovery can take place in these severe cases after the spinal cord was injected a chemical solution of monoamine agonists.
These chemicals trigger cell responses by binding to specific dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin receptors located on the spinal neurons, Courtine said.
Five to 10 minutes after the injection, the scientists electrically stimulated the spinal cord with electrodes implanted in the outermost layer of the spinal canal, which sent continuous electrical signals through nerve fibers to the chemically excited neurons that control leg movement, the researchers said.
The findings are scheduled to be published in the June 1 issue of Science.