An extraordinary medical trial has provided a major breakthrough in global spinal cord injury research, with Australian researchers fighting to bring the new technology to Australia.
“Our goal is no less than cure,” Professor Bryce Vissel from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) told 60 Minutes reporter Charles Wooley.
Professor Vissel has convinced the university to invest millions to bring the latest research into spinal cord injury to Australia.
His next goal is to bring a new form of epidural stimulation to Australian spinal cord injury patients, after seeing the profound impact the technology has had in international medical trials.
“I want this to be the world’s leading program,” Professor Vissel told Wooley.
“We will find the best people in the world who are advancing the technology in science to the maximum capacity that they can, and try to bring them here to Australia.”
The epidural stimulation trial has resulted in paraplegia patients and individuals with spinal cord injuries regaining movement and feeling in limbs – and even learning to walk again.
The trial involves electrodes being implanted on the spinal cord, that – when stimulated – can assist the brain and nervous system to communicate.