A young paralyzed man just walked again after having an electrode implanted in his back.

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota have helped a paralyzed man walk 100 yards with the aid of a walker after implanting a remote-controlled electrode in his back.

Jered Chinnock, 29, was paralyzed five years ago after a devastating snowmobile accident left him with no movement or sensation below his mid-back. But after 43 weeks of intense rehab, and the help of the electrode, he was able to walk again.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic implanted a battery in his abdomen to power the spinal-nerve stimulating electrode.


If the electrode is turned off or loses power, Chinnock can no longer stand.

“The walking side of it isn’t something where I just leave my wheelchair behind and away I go,” Chinnock, of Tomah, Wisconsin, told The Associated Press. But, “there is the hopeful side of, maybe I’ll gain that — where I can leave the wheelchair behind, even if it is to walk to the refrigerator.”

[rebelmouse-image 19398217 dam="1" original_size="456x306" caption="via The Huffington Post" expand=1]via The Huffington Post

After 25 weeks of therapy Chinnock was able to take his first steps without a harness and since, he has walked over 100 yards and done so continuously for as long as 16 minutes.

“The reason why this is important is because the patient’s own mind, thought, was able to drive movement in his legs,” Dr Kendall Lee, who co-led the Mayo Clinic team, told The Independent. “Just as important is that we were able to get him to stand independently and take his own steps.”

While the study's initial results are promising, researchers need to dig deeper to uncover the specific reasons for their success.

“Now I think the real challenge starts, and that's understanding how this happened, why it happened, and which patients will respond,” said co-principal investigator Dr Kristin Zhao, director of the Mayo Clinic's Assistive and Restorative Technology Laboratory.

Researchers theorize that the electrical currents awaken nerve circuits beneath the injury which are droment, but living. The electric currents, paired with rigorous rehab, enable the nerve circuits to receive simple commands from the brain.

“To be able to move my legs and even to stand, it means a lot,” Chinnock told The Huffington Post. “That there’s hope for not only me, but other people.”

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
dog sitting in front of book

New law in Spain classifies animals as ‘sentient beings’

At some point, every pet owner has wondered what their animals were thinking. If you’ve ever stared into a dog or cat’s eyes, you’ve certainly seen a spectrum of emotions and thoughts reflected back to you: love, anger, trust, curiosity, playfulness and so on. Skeptics say attached animal owners are simply projecting human traits onto creatures that still exist purely on a primal level, free of the consciousness that supposedly makes human beings unique.

But a new law in Spain challenges that assumption with real weight behind it, labeling all animals, including wild ones, as sentient beings.

According to El Pais: “From now on, animals will be treated as “sentient beings,” and as such will have a different legal standing than an inanimate object. They will no longer be able to be seized, abandoned, mistreated or separated from one of their owners in the case of a divorce or separation, without having their wellbeing and protection taken into account.”

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