Life changing research
A spinal cord injury can happen in a split second, and sometimes the things we love the most can play a part. Tara was a rider with many years experience, but was unfortunately bucked from her horse in 2014, leaving her paralysed from the upper chest down. Read more about Tara's story.
Today Tara is taking part in a Spinal Research funded clinical trial to test a groundbreaking treatment to help cure paralysis.
This study will use electrical stimulation of the spinal cord (neuromodulation) alongside a programme of rehabilitation to test improvement in sensory, motor or autonomic functions. Conducted in the UK, this trial consists of 120 stimulation sessions combined with physical rehabilitation, with assessments after 20, 40, 80 and 120 sessions. Electrical stimulation is delivered through electrodes on the skin, so as a tetraplegic Tara will receive stimulation in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar areas depending on which exercise is being conducted. There have already been a number of human trials in the US, Switzerland and the UK using neuromodulation and they have shown participants regain varying degrees of function even years after injury. These include the ability to stand unaided, the return of bowel, bladder and sexual function, better hand function and, in some cases, even the ability to walk overground with a walker. Such improvements could provide Tara and others with greater independence, as well as boosting her overall health and quality-of-life.