Nightly News   |  April 08, 2014

Revolutionary New Treatment Helps Paralyzed Men Move

Researchers from the University of Louisville announced amazing results after implanting a device the size of a pacemaker that stimulates the spinal cord.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally here tonight a story that contains incredible images. it chronicles an incredible journey. the story of a medical break through and how it impacted four men who were once told they would be paralyzed forever.

>> reporter: just standing up is an extraordinary achievement for rob and a medical milestone for people living with spinal cord injury . he was a star pitcher eight years ago when a car accidents left him paralyzed from the neck down but never paralyzed his hope.

>> i'll find a way to overcome this.

>> reporter: with an athleteess determination and strenuous exercise he regained the use of his arms. three years ago a groundbreaking new therapy allowed him to do even more. to move his torso and legs, feel sensation, and regain control of important body functions. is this revolutionary?

>> extraordinary. i was really shocked.

>> reporter: today researchers from the university of louisville working with the christopher and dana reed foundation announced three other paralyzed young men have had equally amazing results.

>> is spinal cord has a capacity we never thought it had before and the more we learn about it the more we can use that knowledge to help people with par leslie.

>> reporter: here's how it works. below the injury doctors implant ad device the size of a pace maker and connect electrodes along the spinal cord . when turned on electronic pulses stimulate the nerves. which allows engagement of the muscles making movement possible again. dustin was paralyzed four years ago after a car accident said it's life changing.

>> being able to move my legs, toes and ankles. huge change in my life for my self-confidence.

>> it brings tears to my eyes. just unbelievable.

>> reporter: there's more to do but today excitement about a remarkable triumph of science and will of patients who refuse to