Standing Promise

May 28, 2013
Electrode implants have already helped one paralysis patient get on his feet again. Is walking the next step?

Rob Summers is standing up. Two feet on the ground, legs straight, hips squared. He has done it thousands of times before — out of bed in the morning to practice with his championship-winning collegiate baseball team, or up from the couch to get a snack.

Most memorably, he stood up on a July night in 2006 to walk out the door and over to his parked car on a street in Portland, Ore. Standing next to his Ford Explorer, he saw the lights of another vehicle approaching from behind. It was coming fast — too fast.

Spine Stimulator Lets the Paralyzed Stand Again

January 21, 2013
The therapy that may one day allow paraplegics to walk.

Last year two paralyzed people briefly stood again, aided by a device that electrically stimulates the lower spinal cord. They were among the first beneficiaries of a hugely promising technique that researchers hope could one day enable many paralyzed people to walk again.