Epidural stimulation: Possible breakthrough for people with paralysis

Dustin Shillcox is a patient with paralysis who cannot move anything from the chest down. 

Doctors implanted a device that can send electrical stimulation to his spine. 

When the device is turned on, he can move on demand and sit up without support. 

When it's off, Shillcox cannot even sit up because his torso muscles don't work.

"Wow! There you go. Oh my gosh," he said.

According to CNN, Shillcox is one of four patients in the study published Tuesday. 

None of them can walk on their own, as the device works to activate one leg at a time.

"The first time I turned it on it was exciting and emotional for me at the same time. Emotional because I was told that I'd never be able to walk or move my legs again."

Susan Harkema is a neuroscientist at the University of Louisville. 

She says this may add to existing tools that use electrical stimulation on paralyzed patients. 

"I think what's incredibly exciting is we've open up a realm of possibilities of what we can do now with people who are paralyzed and we've just scratched the surface," Harkema said.

Read more on CNN.com .

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