What are your short and long term hopes for research?
The central nervous system is so complicated that complete recovery may never be possible, but we should never stop trying. Treatments that would return even a little function or prevent further damage would themselves be life-changing. As I have a background in IT and mathematics, I also strongly believe that technology could provide a cure for spinal cord injuries, as implants can bridge the area of injury and redirect neuronal transmission.
To both SCI sufferers and supporters, I would say never give up. Man’s greatest achievements are always when the outcome seems insurmountable. I would also like to thank all those that support Spinal Research.
Hope for the future
As Steve mentions, there is considerable research in the field of electronics to improve functional recovery in spinal cord injury, including several clinical trials that we are directly funding. Professor Baker in Newcastle University is developing a wearable electronic device to improve grasp function. Dr Krassioukov at the University of Alberta is using non-invasive electrodes to treat bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction in those with SCI. Many other similar studies are ongoing and offer tangible future treatment for recovery of function.