Three men with supposed life-long paralysis are able to walk again after taking part in an innovative new medical trial.
According to the report, published by the BBC, an electrical device has been inserted around the men’s spines which boost signals from their brains to their legs.
The revolutionary new technique has allowed the men to regain control of their leg muscles and has helped damaged nerves in the spinal cord to regrow.
The men, who were all living with a severe spinal cord injury, were previously told that they would never walk again.
Thirty-year-old David M’zee, one of the patients involved in the trial, can now walk more than half a mile with the implant turned on.
“To me it means a lot. I’m surprised at what we have been able to do. I think you’ve got to try the impossible to make the possible possible. It’s a lot of fun – it feels really good,” he told the BBC.
The new medical treatment is the brainchild of researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.
While so far the results indicate a resounding success for the three individuals involved, the researchers said the trial is still in its very early stages and it is not clear for how many people it would benefit.
“Not so long ago, the hope that someone paralyzed for years by a severe spinal-cord injury would ever be able to walk again was just that — hope,” the study’s authors say. “But recent advances are bringing those hopes closer to reality.”