Disrupted Neuromotor Pathways
More than 48 million patients in the US, Europe and China suffer disabilities due to neuromotor dysfunction resulting from stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and other neurological diseases. These neuromotor impairments can either be muscle weakness (paralysis and paresis), muscle tone disorders (spasticity, rigidity and low muscle tone) or muscle control problems. Genuine functional recovery remains elusive for these patients, and there are no pharmacological, surgical or physical interventions that can restore neuromotor function. In patients with these neurological conditions, disruption of the pathways leading from brain, through spinal cord, and to effector organs (e.g., muscle) results in impaired signal transmission.
Voluntary movement is initiated in the primary motor cortex of the brain, which is a well characterized cortical region that maps directly to specific muscles in the body. From the primary motor cortex, signals descend through specific pathways in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord tracts. Motor neurons are found in the spinal cord gray matter, and send axons directly to the muscles they innervate. Disruption of signal transmission can occur as a result of specific neurological disorders or physical trauma, and can occur at the level of the brain, spinal cord or nerves that lead to specific muscles. Our technology can restore function through damaged but intact pathways.