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Home Industry News New oxygen therapy ‘can aid mobility in spine injury patients’

New oxygen therapy ‘can aid mobility in spine injury patients’

28th November 2013

Researchers in the US have discovered a promising new treatment approach to help people with spine injuries walk better.

A team from Emory University in Atlanta have conducted a study involving 19 people with spine injuries to assess the benefits of the new method, which sees patients exposed to short periods of breathing low oxygen levels, a process known as hypoxia.

Participants breathed through a mask for about 40 minutes a day for five days, receiving 90-second periods of low oxygen levels followed by 60 seconds of normal oxygen levels. It was found that those receiving the hypoxia treatment increased their speed on a test of walking ten metres, walking an average of 3.8 seconds faster.

Meanwhile, in a test of how far patients could walk in six minutes by an average of 100 metres, a 250 percent improvement was seen among the hypoxia group.

Dr Randy Trumbower of Emory University said: "Usually a person affected by this type of spinal injury seldom recovers the ability to walk normally. Our research proposes a promising new way for the spinal cord to make the connections needed to walk better."ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801666377-ADNFCR

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