Cooperation with Riders4Riders

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Wings for Life, the Riders4Riders organisation and Marina Romoli Onlus joined forces to support one spinal cord research project.

Riders4Riders is an Italian nonprofit organisation. Founded in 2010, it provides financial support to people living with spinal cord injury. In addition, the organisation focuses in supporting research projects in order to accelerate the discovery of treatments.

Together with Wings for Life they decided to fund a project of Prof. Dr. Courtine at the EPFL Lausanne, entitled “Neuroprosthetic systems to promote recovery and plasticity of the injured primate spinal cord”.  Dr. Courtine became well known after publishing an article in the journal “Science” in 2012. In this article he described how he and his team could restore walking in paralyzed rats by “waking up” their damaged spinal cord using a multi component approach. Dr. Courtine developed and optimized an electrochemical spinal neuroprosthesis capable of transforming lumbosacral circuits from non-functional to highly functional states in rodents with experimental spinal cord injuries. More information.

The next step of the project will now be to translate these findings from rodents to humans and make this technology available for the patients. The main focus of the project will then be to develop an electrochemical neuroprosthesis to facilitate locomotion in experimental models that are closer to humans.

Wings for Life, Riders4Riders and Marina Romoli Onlus hope for a great outcome of this promising project and will work also in the future together.