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Better bladder.

Bladder accidents are closer to being a thing of the past for people with spinal-cord injury (SCI) with new research on a prosthetic bladder.

One of the most common side effects of SCI is loss of bladder control because of the interruption of signals from the bladder telling the brain it's full, and the brain telling the bladder when it's time to go.

A study published in Science Translational Medicine shows research done at the University of Cambridge on a device that utilizes the nerves around the bladder may solve this problem.

The prosthetic wraps bundles of nerves in electrodes to interpret the signals coming from the bladder when it's full. The user can then activate the device to stimulate the nerves that contract the bladder in order to empty it.

Although studies done in rats have been effective and the interior wiring can be made for humans, the device's exterior would need 6 feet of equipment. The researchers would like to create a more user-friendly handheld device to trigger bladder contraction. Daniel Chew, one of the researchers on the project, however, told BBC this isn't the goal at hand.

"The ultimate aim is to regenerate the spinal cord. What we're doing is restoring some function, not curing spinal-cord injury," he says.

For more information, visit stm.sciencemag.org.

Science Translational Medicine

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Title Annotation:Newsbeat; prosthetic bladder
Publication:PN - Paraplegia News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2014
Words:222
Previous Article:Stow & go.
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