Batgirl #5

Jan. 11th, 2012 05:32 pm
aeka: Art by Adam Hughes (Huntress [Helena Wayne]:)
[personal profile] aeka posting in [community profile] scans_daily
The secret to Barbara's cure revealed.


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I'd properly comment on the questionable accuracy of a simple neural transplant being the solution to completely curing Babs' paralysis (since this is my area of expertise) if I wasn't so exhausted. But let me begin by saying that action potential is a hell of a lot more complicated than that. And even if story wise, nerves were used to "bypass" the damaged part of the spinal cord and "rewire the neural circuitry" to bring action potential back to the rest of the nerves below the damaged portion of the spinal cord, the impulse wouldn't still be strong enough to send strong enough signals from the efferent neurones to induce motor response, or at least NOT to the degree of being able to be fully walk again as though no injury ever took place like Babs is doing in the story, not even after a year of physical therapy.

Long story short, think of this in terms of repairing the cord to your head phones so that you can listen to music again. Think of the mp3 player as the "brain" that transmits the electrical signal that allows you to hear the sound at the end of your headphones. Everyone knows that when you take a pair of scissors and you cut the cord in half, the mp3 player still transmits the signal but it stops that the cut and the other end no longer receives the signal. But when you put the two ends together again, it is *possible* to still get sound again, but you will no longer get the same clear sound you had before, and would hear more static instead. That's pretty much how spinal injuries induce paralysis and influence the extent of recovery. So, even if you do regain some neural function, it will not be to the same degree as before.

The injury itself "blocks" the electrical signal from brain to the affected rest of the body following the injury and action potential doesn't happen. Now depending on the gravity of the injury to the spinal cord, it is still possible to retain some somatic sensory function and lose motor function, and vice versa. However, in The Killing Joke--storywise--had the Joker doctor a bullet that would completely shatter her spine, and by that note Babs' should have lost function in both her afferent and efferent neurones (the neurones responsible for sensory and motor function respectively) of the affected spinal area because they would no longer be able to receive or transmit any signal to and from the brain.

I'd go into more details, but I'd probably confuse everyone.

Date: 2012-01-12 05:58 am (UTC)
airawyn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] airawyn
Huh. I like hearing about this from an expert's POV, so thanks. I'm opposed to the change no matter how realistic the tech (I've written about my reasons here), but it's interesting to see that the "it could be done in the real world" excuse doesn't really fly, either.

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