A paralyzed man named Bill Kochevar was once again able to use his arm and hand. He did so thanks to a mix of technology and his own thoughts. This is also the achievement of a team of researchers and project BrainGate2.
The Paralyzed Man Has Been Unable To Move For Over 8 Years
Bill Kochevar is a 56-years old man. When he was in his 40s, Mr. Kochevar suffered a biking accident which resulted in a damaged spine. Since then, he became unable to move any body part below his shoulders. But this has all changed.
A research team presented him with the chance to take part in an experimental study. This is called the BrainGate2. In Mr. Kochevar’s case, the experiment tried to help him regain his hand and arm movement. As it can be seen from the video, it was actually successful.
The team behind this achievement comes from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center, and Cleveland VA Medical Center researchers. Their plan for this paralyzed man goes as follows. The scientists tried to establish a new connection between Mr. Kochevar’s brain and his right hand and arm.
A first step was the implanting of 2 electrode arrays in his brain. Electrodes can detect brain signals. In this case, they can capture signals from the brain part that once controlled the man’s right hand and arm.
“We have an algorithm that sort of transforms those neural signals into the movements he intended to make”. This is according to Robert Kirsch.
A professor of biomedical engineering part of Case Western, he also took part in the study. The next step was to implant electrodes in muscles of the paralyzed man. More specifically, in those that controlled his hand and arm movements. This is because movements require muscles.
The Paralyzed Man Was Once Again Able To Move His Arm By Simply Thinking It
Following these procedures, Mr. Kochevar received access to a new system. This is capable of detecting his desired hand and arm movement. Then, it can electrically stimulate the required muscles, and achieve the movement.
As he is connected to this system, the paralyzed man can reach out his arm and grasp things with his hand. This is all according to a statement from the researcher published in The Lancet journal. The team stated that Mr. Kochevar is now once again able to even scratch his nose.
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