He's been paralyzed for 5 years, but he just walked. The video is spectacular.

The word you're looking is "wow."

The man in the video you're about to see has been paralyzed for five years. Yet he's about to walk.

How? Because of some cool science stuff that we'll explain in a second.


But first, just watch. It's incredible.

OK, so that was awesome, but what the heck is going on here?

I've got 19 words for you: "The feasibility of a brain-computer interface functional electrical stimulation system for the restoration of overground walking after paraplegia."

Er, actually, that's just the title of the researchers' published findings, which you can read online in the Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation.

Let me say it a different way:

Scientists created a way for the man's brain signals to bypass his damaged spinal cord and communicate directly with his legs.

An Do, one of the study's lead researchers from University of California Irvine, wanted to find out what would happen he combined two already pretty amazing technologies: brain-controlled interfaces (BCIs), which send the signals, and a functional electrical stimulation (FES) system, which uses the signals to tell the muscles to move.

FES systems, like Parastep (the one used in this study) aren't new when it comes to helping paralyzed folks regain movement in their muscles. But typically they have to be operated manually, with the wearer applying stimulation to his or her muscles via a keypad and control switches.

Having the system controlled by brain signals via special sensors on the skin is a novel approach and clearly yields some extraordinary results. In fact, the man in the study completed 30 tests just like this one over 19 weeks, without a single negative side effect.

That doesn't mean this technology is a magic pill. At least, not yet.

The man practices walking using the device in virtual reality. Image via Christine King, et al./Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation.

If you watch carefully, you'll see there are a number of supports and fail-safes in place to keep the man from falling. Even after all that practice, his steps are slow and labored.

And what you don't see on tape is that the man underwent numerous training sessions to both learn how to operate the device and to strengthen his leg muscles, which haven't been utilized in years. He even practiced walking using the device in virtual reality and while suspended above ground.

Whoa.

In other words, this study is merely proof of concept and still needs quite a bit of perfecting. But the goal, the researchers say, is to one day integrate this entire system into a patient's body so it can be used all the time, without the need for complicated set ups like the one in this video.

It's science and technology, coming together in the absolute best way possible. But to this man, and others like him, it must feel an awful lot like a miracle.

Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

This is especially true after more than a year of pandemic living, where we moms have spent more time than usual at home with our offspring. While in some ways that's been great, again, it's a lot.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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