News Exercise #59

Paralysed man Walks Again

1) What had happened to Darek Fidyka four years ago.
He was paralysed from the chest down after a knife attack.
2) At o:2o-0:25 he used a famous expression. What did he say? Where has this expression been used famously before?
“Just small steps, but for Darek they represent a giant leap.” It was used by Neil Armstring when stepping onto the moon in 1969.
3) How did Darek describe the difference between before the operation and after?
“When there is nothing, you can’t feel almost half of your body, you’re very helpless, lost, but when it begins to come back it’s like starting afresh, as if you were born again.”
4) Of all the cells in the human body, why did the neuroscientist choose olfactory cells for this operation?
The olfactory bulbs are the only part of the nervous system that constantly regenerate.
5) What did the neruoscientist find, and from that, what does he believe? (1:24-1:39)
“What we’ve done is we’ve established a principle that is: nerve fibres can grow back and restore function, provided we give them a bridge. I believe this is the moment when paralysis can be reversed.”
6) Why is it so important for the scientists to repeat this procedure soon?
They want to avoid giving false hopes, meaning that this may not actually be possible for other people as treatment, but other paralysed people will get too hopeful by this one success. They have to conduct “controlled clinical trials” (the name given to standard medical testing at the most careful and precise level).
7) Complete this closing statement at 2:48: It’s far too early to rewrite the medical textbooks, but the scientists involved believe this could herald a new era in the treatment of paralysis.”