Spinal cord injuries can be devastating in their effects, with the most serious ending in quadriplegia, the inability to use any of one’s limbs. But a new medical breakthrough is looking to help spinal cord injury victims overcome their paralysis through technology that some are describing as “mind-reading,” according to The Daily Mail.
The technology was created through research at the Northwestern University in Chicago and is called a “neuroprosthesis,” which combined two pieces of technology that allow a paralyzed victim to control their limbs despite their spinal cord damage. The first piece of technology is a multi-electrode array that is implanted into the brain and works as a computer-brain interface and deciphers the signals that generate arm and hand movement. The other piece is known as a functional electrical stimulation (FES) device, which delivers an electrical current to paralyzed muscles and causes them to contract in a desired manner.
By combining the two elements, a paralysis victim is able to bypass their injuries and intentionally stimulate movement in the limb. Research was done by observing muscle activity in healthy monkeys, then temporarily blocking nerve activity in the subjects via local anesthetic and using the neuroprosthesis.
Both monkeys in the study regained movement and gripping strength that allowed them to pick up and move a ball in a nearly normal manner.
Researchers hope that the technology will continue to be studied and advanced for use one day in paralyzed humans to overcome spinal cord injuries.
At Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP, we understand the devastating effects of a spinal cord injury and the need of victims for proper and continued medical care and rehabilitation. Our San Mateo spinal cord injury lawyers have the skills and experience needed to help you find compensation for your injuries from those responsible for the accident that caused them. For a consultation on your possible case from our legal team, call us today at (800) 900-0863.