Hope for spinal cord injury patients

July 2, 2009 6:18:10 AM PDT
Alysse Einbender,49, of Wyncote, Pennsylvania is learning to stand and walk again with the help of a device called the ReWalk. Alysse suffered a spinal stroke five years ago and has since been paralyzed from the waist down. "Things are so much harder doing it with just your arms, tranferring, driving, everything, she said, adding, "And the self-esteem is probably the biggest obstacle to overcome seeing the world from a different perspective."

But the ReWalk being tested only at Moss Rehab gives this mother of two, hope. The device is already helping spinal cord injury patients such as Radi Kaiuf from Isreal. He's been using it for more than a year. He can now vary his pace and even go up and down steps. "I feel normal," he said.

The device has four motors, a computer controller and a battery pack. Leaning forward helps signal the device. "So she's learning to lean forward and take a step, lean forward and take the next step," clinical trial director Dr. Albert Esquenazi explained.

Doctors at Moss Rehab will enroll about 12 more patients to help study the device, teach people to use it and make it better.

Einbender said, "I love the idea of it being able to affect more than just a couple of us."

For more information on this and other clinical trials, visit: www.mossrehab.com

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