The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our Annual Report.

‘Neuroprosthetic’ returns movement to paralyzed man’s arm

| | April 14, 2016

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

On June 13th, 2010, college freshman Ian Burkhart was goofing off in the ocean with his friends, when he dove into the wrong wave. It pushed him down onto a shallow sandbar, breaking his neck at the fifth cervical vertebra and instantly paralyzing him. He couldn’t feel his arms or legs. It would be four years before he moved his hand again.

After his condition stabilized, Burkhart moved back home with his family in Columbus, Ohio and started doing rehabilitation therapy at Ohio State University, where he learned that a local team, led by engineer Chad Bouton and neurosurgeon Ali Rezai, were developing a technological bypass for injured spinal cords. Their “neuroprosthetic” would directly connect the brain to muscles in the arm, allowing paralyzed people to regain control of their own limbs. They needed test subjects, and Burkhart fit the bill perfectly.

In April 2014, the team surgically implanted an array of microscopic electrodes in Burkhart’s motor cortex—the part of the brain that governs his movements. When Burkhart thought about moving his arm, the implant would decode the activity in his neurons and feed the signals to a sleeve of electrodes on his forearm.The field of neuroprosthetics has made huge strides of late. Just ten years ago, the team behind BrainGate demonstrated that paralyzed people could used implanted electrodes to control a virtual cursor and a rudimentary robotic hand.

Read full, original post: Brain Prosthetic Allows Paralyzed Man to Move His Hand Again

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend