Brain says to spine 'heal thyself': study - Yahoo! News
by Marlowe Hood 2 hours, 4 minutes ago PARIS (AFP) - Tiny nerves crisscrossing the spine can bypass crippling injuries recently written off as irreversible, scientists reported in a study published Monday.
Experiments conducted on mice at the University of California in Los Angeles showed for the first time that the central nervous system can rewire itself to create small neural pathways between the brain and the nerve cells that control movement.
i fortunately never had the misfortune to crush my spine, but i did blow out two discs in a pretty bad construction accident in the 1980s. at the time and for a while thereafter i walked with a significant limp and i could not run at all. i had no idea why.
i went to five different doctors and all sorts of therapy. finally i wound up with the head of neurology at the university of miami. he hooked up a bunch of electodes from pins in my body to a loud speaker and let me listen to my nerves working as my brain commanded different body parts to move. i found it amazing.
after dealing with so much, finally someone could show me why i was limping. i had no idea. but it was so simple. i could not lift myself up on the toes of my right foot. the ruptured disc damaged the nerves so that my brain could not tell that group of muscles what to do.
upon learning this, i was able to concentrate on the mechanism of lift. i'd lift myself up with ease onto the toes of my left foot. and then i'd try to no avail on my right. i did this for hours every day until finally i got lift. it was unbelievable. over time it strenthened. my limp disappeared and i was able to run again. i have not had that problem since.
this is the power of the brain. it amazes me still.