Researchers at Northwestern University who have reversed paralysis in the hands of several monkeys say the same method could be used in humans. According to a report published in New Scientist on April 18, the team achieved success by studying the brain activity of the animals before paralysis set it.
Lead researcher Lee Miller and a team implanted 100 electrodes into the brains of 2 able-bodied monkeys and mapped their brain activity. They then induced paralysis into their hands and used the electrodes to recreate the brain patterns needed to bring their hands back out of paralysis again.
"If you walked into the room, you wouldn't realize the monkey is paralyzed," says Miller. "By going directly to the brain, we have potential access to a much richer set of control signals that represent the actual movement the patient is attempting to make."
"This achievement is a major advance toward similar restoration of hand function in human patients through brain-controlled FES (functional electrical stimulation)," the study stated.
by RTT Staff Writer
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