Feinstein Institutes awarded $3.6M for spinal cord injury research

November 23, 2022

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The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research has received a $3.6 million grant, spread over 5 years, from the New York State Department of Health for research into spinal cord simulation and new brain transplant technologies.

The grant will be used for research to better understand what happens in the brain and body after a spinal cord injury and to develop new methods of treatment with bioelectronic drugs to restore movement and perception, says a statement from the institute.


The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research has received a $3.6 million grant from the New York State Department of Health to research spinal cord simulation and new brain transplant technologies. Source: Adobe Stock

Chad Boutonvice president for advanced engineering and professor at Feinstein’s Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine, will lead the study to evaluate whether cervical stimulation, alone and in combination with brain implants, can promote permanent movement.

“Losing movement in all four limbs makes tasks like getting out of bed, brushing your teeth and getting dressed impossible,” Bouton said in the release. “There is a significant deterioration in quality of life and currently there is no cure for permanent paralysis.”

Previous research by Bouton and colleagues showed that cervical stimulation applied at the base of the neck can lead to better recovery from injury. The new study will analyze the combination of cervical stimulation and brain-computer interface technology implanted in the brain.

“With generous government support, we have the opportunity to research new bioelectronic medicine solutions that could restore movement to those living with spinal cord injuries,” Bouton said.

According to the release, the new study will enroll 12 participants who will receive transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation for 12 months, and two participants who will begin the same stimulation for several months, followed by 6 months of brain-computer interface technology. .

Participants will perform tasks while receiving cervical stimulation. The goal of the study is to observe the effects of the stimulation on the activity patterns of the brain, as well as hand and arm movements in order to regain control of the muscles in the long term.

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