Neuroprostheses to Improve Locomotor Control after Spinal Cord Injury

Marina Martinez1

  • 1University of Montreal





10:30 - 11:00 | Tue 30 Oct | Ambassador | KN2

Keynote Talk by Marina Martinez

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Worldwide, millions of people suffer from paralyzing injuries. Reversing paralysis is a complex challenge that requires a combination of rehabilitation strategies and the nervous system’s innate ability to adapt. In motor disorders due to spinal cord injury, the extricate dialogue between brain and spinal motor circuits is disrupted. With time, the central nervous system reorganizes to compensate for lost functions. This process, so called neuroplasticity, is the foundation of physical therapy, which allows people with neurotrauma, after long periods and intense efforts, to recover some ability to walk. A promising avenue is to take advantage of the remaining communication channels between the brain and the spinal cord that can potentially be activated in order to restore function. Neuroprosthetics are now being developed to precisely and timely activate spared neural circuits that are essential for generating coordinated movements. Starting from the main achievements in rehabilitation to-date, a presentation of novel neuroprosthetic devices for locomotor control will be presented and discussed, covering both the area of functional recovery and of neuroplasticity.

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