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New Technology For Spinal Cord Injury Sufferers

January 21, 2021
Medically reviewed by Susan Kerrigan, MD and Marianne Madsen
Additions/comments by Neurologist Steve Schadendorf, MD

GTX Medical, a medical technology (MedTech) company that develops innovative medical devices and therapies, has announced a partnership with NeuroRecovery Technologies to facilitate work on a groundbreaking new treatment for spinal cord injuries. This therapy has been shown to be effective and could change the way we deal with spinal cord injuries.

 

Spinal cord injury treatment today

 

Treatment for spinal cord injuries today is a long and difficult process. Those who have suffered a spinal cord injury must undergo an extensive rehabilitation program which includes physical therapy and/or functional electrical stimulation therapy. Respiratory problems are also common in spinal cord injury sufferers; one-third of those who have experienced trauma to the neck will have inhibited breathing.

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A new way to treat spinal cord injuries?

 

But as technology becomes more advanced, medical companies such as GTX and NeuroRecovery Technologies are working to make the lives of spinal cord injury sufferers easier by creating novel treatments. The two companies, which have merged into one during their partnership (now officially called GTX Medical BV) are working on a “implantable spinal cord stimulation system” which uses targeted epidural spine stimulation (TESS) to restore locomotive functions.

 

This system is in the late stages of development, and so far it looks very promising. Several patients with spinal cord injuries have already had their motor functions restored by the treatment. The new company is also developing a second device that will be able to restore “upper limb movement and hand function” using transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation (TSCS).

 

“People with spinal cord injuries deserve a dedicated and coordinated effort of scientists, clinicians and entrepreneurs to bring to market new therapies and products to improve functional outcomes and quality of life. Our combined organization is dedicated and committed to improving the well-being of these individuals,” said Sjaak Deckers, CEO of GTX.

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Helping advance the new technology

 

Various organizations have already invested millions of dollars in the spinal cord injury treatment. The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, an American non-profit organization with the goal of curing spinal cord injuries across the country and improving quality of life for those who are paralyzed from related injuries, has invested “tens of millions of dollars” to promote research into the technology. The foundation is a GTX Medical BV shareholder, joining other groups such as LSP, Inkef, Wellington Partners, and GIMV on the investors’ list.

 

“We believe discoveries are the moral property of people living with paralysis. This strategic alliance between GTX and NeuroRecovery Technologies will bridge the translational gap that exists between academia and industry to speed the development of vital new treatments and therapies. However, beyond a partnership, it is a promise that is long overdue to the millions living with spinal cord injury worldwide,” said Peter Wilderotter, President and CEO of the Foundation.

 

If GTX Medical BV can manage to reach the final stages of development, this technology could potentially change the lives of those who have suffered spinal cord injuries. Loss of motor control and paralysis could be a thing of the past, and hospitals worldwide could adopt this new therapy in lieu of standard spinal cord injury treatments.

Doctor Profile

Steve Schadendorf, MD

Founding Medical Partner

Dr. Schadendorf is a board certified neurologist who specializes in vascular neurology at Bass Medical Group. Dr. Schadendorf is a Founding Medical Partner and Medical Director of the Neuromedicine Channel at Doctorpedia.

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