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Mar 9, 2020
Dr. Pablo Celnik is a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Buzz is a spinal cord injury patient who has recently received implants to help him regain sensory and motor control of his body. In this episode, they discuss the project directed by Dr. Celnik that involves the implantation of a bilateral set of implants that has been effective in helping Buzz regain sensory and motor control.
Top three takeaways:
[0:00] Ladan introduces the episode and the guests, Dr. Pablo Celnik and Buzz, a spinal cord injury patient, at SfN 2019; Buzz gives a background of his injury and condition
[3:30] Dr. Celnik gives a background of his research, his department, and the project he is currently working on in neurorehabilitation
[6:30] Buzz is special in that his implants are bilateral and more numerous; he has arrays in the dominant and non-dominant side, in both motor and somatosensory cortices
[8:45] Buzz discusses his experience with learning to control his body using his implants
[12:45] Dr. Celnik discusses his experience training Buzz with the new implants; they have started with one arm and have progressed to doing more complicated movements with both arms
[16:15] Like any other research project, this project depends on every component’s support, including funding and yearly reapproval. The future for this project includes evaluating how the addition of sensory information helps with motor performance.
[18:50] Buzz has also been involved in patient advocacy, where he has mentored and guided other spinal cord injury patients in a peer mentoring program
[22:00] Dr. Celnik mentions the significance of this type of work to help spinal cord injury patients restore their quality of life
[25:00] Patients like Buzz illustrate how the field of neuroscience can be translated to a practical, significant application