Medical professionals at the University of Washington are finding a new way to help patients with spinal cord injuries through a form of neurostimulation.

By stimulating spinal cord nerve cells with two electrodes on the neck, a bigger electrode on the pelvis, and with physical therapy, Dr. Fatma Inanici said neural pathways can learn to reconnect again.

"Weak connections become stronger and the function recovers," Dr. Inanici said. "We just couldn’t believe our eyes, how the movement became easier, smoother, softer."

After they stop the neurostimulation, Dr. Inanici said, UW Medicine checks in with patients for three months. So far, all participants have maintained their progress.

According to UW Medicine, an expanded clinical trial will begin later this month.

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