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Thread: Awakening Paralyzed Limbs

  1. #1

    Awakening Paralyzed Limbs

    Awakening Paralyzed Limbs
    Brain signals can drive arm movement in a monkey with a paralyzed arm.

    By Emily Singer
    Friday, October 23, 2009

    A monkey with a paralyzed arm can still grasp a ball, thanks to a novel system designed to translate brain signals into complex muscle movements in real time. The research, presented at the Society for Neuroscience conference in Chicago this week, could one day allow people with spinal cord injury to control their own limbs.

    "This is a big leap forward--they show the monkey using the ability to artificially contract his hand to actually pick up a ball," says Krishna Shenoy, a neuroscientist at Stanford University. "I think it's the first demonstration of a cortically controlled electrical stimulation system performing a task that would ultimately be useful for a human patient."

    While spinal cord injury keeps the brain's electrical signals from reaching muscles, people paralyzed by these injuries often have intact nerves and muscles in their limbs. A technique called functional electrical stimulation (FES), in which implanted electrodes deliver electrical current to trigger muscle contractions, provides a way to reconnect this loop.


  2. #2
    Sounds promising, I hope it works on us as well as primates!

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