Another look at paralysis | Science News



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Another look at paralysis

Robotic suits help the paralyzed move, but behavior changes may prevent injury

Paralyzed individuals are learning to walk again with the help of exoskeletons, such as the one shown.

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Guest post by Meghan Rosen

Robotic suits are beginning to turn paralyzed people's dreams of walking into reality.

The suits, or exoskeletons, are high-tech mechanical devices that strap on and hold patients upright. One type of suit, described in the Nov. 14 Nature and in SN's Mind to motion feature, uses a brain-computer interface that taps into patients’ thoughts to control robotic movements.

But the suits may still be years away. Simple behavioral changes, such as exercising the legs or not texting while driving, can help people avoid the falls and crashes that commonly cause paralysis, Sara Klaas of Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago suggests in the same issue of Nature.

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