SCUBA AND SENSATION
CAN SCUBA DIVING HELP PEOPLE WHO ARE PARALYZED? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Scuba diving may help people who are paralyzed because of spinal cord injuries regain some function, a Johns Hopkins study led by Adam Kaplin has found.
KAPLIN: What's important about this research is that it may give us a back door into a way to develop a new therapy that may help people who are paralyzed regain spinal cord function, sensory function and motor function. We went out with 10 paralyzed veterans, took them scuba diving. These are people who had been spinal cord injured for approximately 15 years on average and found that when they went scuba diving, 10 scuba dives as part of their certification, they all regained some sensation. Half of them regained some motor function that they hadn't had. :35
Kaplin says a lot of additional research will be needed before scuba diving can be recommended to treat spinal cord injury, but everyone concerned is both excited and enthusiastic about the prospects. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.