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Science & Technology

Paralyzed man uses brain power to walk again

By T.K. Randall
September 24, 2015 · Comment icon 8 comments

A special brain interface has enabled to a paralyzed man to walk. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Allan Ajifo
A paraplegic has been able to take his first tentative steps thanks to a new brain to computer interface.
The impressive achievement was made possible by doctors in Southern California who have developed a new system that effectively bypasses the patient's severed spinal cord and sends messages directly from the brain to electrodes placed around the knees.

The signals then trigger controlled leg movements that enable the patient to walk.
In the video below student Adam Fritz, who injured his back in a motorcycle accident, can be seen walking almost twelve feet across the floor of the research facility while using a harness and walking frame to help keep him standing upright.

It is the first time that a paraplegic has been able to walk again without the use of robotics and the scientists behind the project believe that this technology could eventually make it possible for patients with this type of injury to regain at least some of their lost mobility.



Source: Japan Times | Comments (8)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by XenoFish 9 years ago
Sweet. If they refine this, I wonder how long before prosthetic become fully cybernetic.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Mikko-kun 9 years ago
Guess I might not have to live in wheelchair when I get old. Dont know if I want one of those robot legs tho, or if can afford one. Cool for those who need them still
Comment icon #3 Posted by JKoene 9 years ago
Vertically filmed, grr
Comment icon #4 Posted by Razer 9 years ago
It is baby steps for now, I hope they can refine it, I think they will.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 9 years ago
The beginning of "The Six Million Dollar Man".
Comment icon #6 Posted by BeastieRunner 9 years ago
Our brain is an amazing thing.
Comment icon #7 Posted by MJNYC 9 years ago
That's what I call a step for mankind. Little baby Jesus had no hand in this one. Mom always taught me that when i had something unkind to say to just not say it. Just passing on some wisdom,
Comment icon #8 Posted by highdesert50 9 years ago
This research with concurrent research in neurotrophic factors that allow nerve cells to regenerate certainly offers an optimistic future for those in need.


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