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August 11, 2016

‘Brain training’ technique restores feeling and movement to paraplegics

Using VR technology, an exoskeleton and software, study claims participants have unexpectedly experienced partial recovery of movement and sensation

Eight paraplegics – some of them paralysed for more than a decade by severe spinal cord injury – have been able to move their legs and feel sensation, after help from an artificial exoskeleton, sessions using virtual reality (VR) technology and a non-invasive system that links the brain with a computer.

In effect, after just 10 months of what their Brazilian medical team call “brain training” they have been able to make a conscious decision to move and then get a response from muscles that have not been used for a decade. [...]

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January 29, 2016

Zika outbreak raises fears of rise in deaths from unsafe abortions

Campaigners urge governments in Latin America to rethink bans on abortion and make contraception widely available

Campaigners are calling on Latin American governments to rethink their policies on contraception and abortion because of the spread of Zika virus, which they fear will lead to a rise in women’s deaths from unsafe abortions as well as the predicted surge in brain-damaged babies.

Several governments in the region have advised women to postpone getting pregnant for up to two years, which reproductive health groups say is impossible in countries where birth control is not easily available and many women fall pregnant through sexual violence.

 
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