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NEWS AND EVENTS
Article published in Science Translational Medicine
Closed-loop neuromodulation of spinal sensorimotor circuits controls refined locomotion after comple...
14-16 November 2012 International Conference on Neurorehabilitation
NEUWalk scientists Prof. Courtine and Prof. Micera participate in the conference.
Results published in Science and Nature Magazine
Rats with spinal cord injuries and severe paralysis are now walking thanks to researchers from NEUWa...
The NEUWalk Project
Leading European research laboratories combine their expertise and knowledge to design novel neuroprosthetic systems that aim to restore the motor functions of individuals suffering from severe spinal cord injury (SCI) as well as alleviating the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The project, partly funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development with almost 9 million Euros, was launched on June 1st 2010.
Focus of NEUWalk is development and pre-clinical validation of highly innovative neuroprothetic concepts for restoration of motor functions in individuals with severe spinal cord injury and for a more efficient, less invasive and safer strategy to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
To achieve these ambitious objectives, NEUWalk will capitalize on recent breakthroughs in neuroscience research demonstrating the capacity of pharmacological and electrical spinal cord stimulations to promote the recovery of full weight bearing walking in paralyzed SCI rats and to alleviate severe Parkinsonian symptoms in rodents. These findings will further be developed towards sophisticated multisite stimulation strategies to engage the spinal networks and will be combined with advanced methods of cortical signal recording and neural decoding. Along with that dedicated neuroprosthetic interfaces suited for chronic implantation will we realized by means of leading-edge microtechnology and microelectronics featuring real time data processing, wireless signal transmission as well as programmable multisite stimulation of the spinal cord.
Elaboration and validation of the NEUWalk neuroprosthetic concepts will be carried out in rats with SCI and non-human primates with PD. To accelerate translation towards efficient clinical applications, first preliminary testing in humans with SCI is planned for the end phase of the project.
The achievements of NEUWalk are expected to open the doors for future therapy of severe SCI enabling partial restoration of voluntary control of paralyzed limbs and for establishing a novel, efficient clinical strategy for symptomatic treatment of Parkinson’ disease.