A ‘neural bypass’ is being used to help paralyzed individuals regain some movement. The journal Nature has reported on some key research which is allowing a quadriplegic accident victim to use the activity of his motor cortex to move their muscles and move their paralyzed limbs.
The Toronto Star has done a great report on the matter and it’s worth having a look at the video. Ian Burkhart was 19 when her dove a shallow dive and broke his neck causing catastrophically injured with doctors telling him he would never move his hands or legs again.
Now researchers at the University of Ohio have had Mr. Burkhart working in their lab for 15 months. They have trained him, and placed a neuromuscular electrical stimulation cuff on his forearm that decodes signals from his brain. When he thinks about moving his hand it now moves. He can pick up things like a bottle, or swipe a credit card. This technology is only in the lab yet, but it’s hoped that it can be used in the future to help victims of stroke, TBI, or other trauma to regain a level independence that was previously considered unrealistic.
Image courtesy of Ian Burkhart’s Twitter @iburkhart