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Thread: New brain implant restores paralyzed limbs

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member SuzE-Q's Avatar
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    Default New brain implant restores paralyzed limbs

    This is potentially good news!

    http://www.sciencealert.com/this-new...aralysed-limbs

    This new brain implant has the potential to restore paralysed limbs

    Incredible.
    DAVID NIELD 5 JAN 2016

    Researchers have just been granted US$16 million in funding to go towards the development of brain implants that could one day help paralysed limbs come back to life.

    These "bidirectional brain-computer interfaces" handle the crucial links between the brain and the spinal cord, bridging gaps caused by injury or a stroke. The miniature implants would be designed with the capability to detect the brain's intention to do something and then transfer that intention to the appropriate part of the body - a complex procedure that the able-bodied often take for granted.

    "When Christopher Reeve sustained a spinal cord injury due to a fall from his horse, his brain circuits were still intact and able to form the intention to move, but unfortunately the injury prevented that intention from being conveyed to the spinal cord," said Rajesh Rao, director of the Centre for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) at the University of Washington.

    "Our implantable devices aim to bridge such lost connections by decoding brain signals and stimulating the appropriate part of the spinal cord to enable the person to move again."

    The new round of funding comes from the US National Science Foundation and will be spread over four years. The team at CSNE says it wants to have proof-of-concept demonstrations in humans in the next five years, with approved devices following after that. There's hope that the system could be used to help the nervous system actually repair and rewire itself by working around damaged regions.

    "There's a huge unmet need, especially with an ageing population of baby boomers, for developing the next generation of medical devices for helping people with progressive or traumatic neurological conditions such as stroke and spinal cord injury," says Rao.

    While electrical brain implants are becoming more and more common in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's, the constant bombardment of pulses - even when a person is resting - can lead to unwanted side effects and of course drain the device's battery very quickly. The CSNE researchers are working on the next generation of so-called closed loop implants, which apply targeted electrical stimulation only when needed.

    The team plans to use some of the funding they've received to research the ethics of these brain implants, which have the potential to fundamentally change a person's brain, and perhaps even their identity. If human trials are successful and the technology is approved for the wider market, we're going to have to be ready for any psychological effects that could come with the physical benefits.

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    This could be really good news. I hope they know what they're doing.

    The team plans to use some of the funding they've received to research the ethics of these brain implants, which have the potential to fundamentally change a person's brain, and perhaps even their identity.
    I might not mind a new identity but I'll have to think it over.
    Last edited by agate; 01-06-2016 at 10:48 AM.
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

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    Distinguished Community Member SuzE-Q's Avatar
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    Lol...

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    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    O M G sign me up!!!
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







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    Distinguished Community Member Howie's Avatar
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    I'll be back!

    The Terminator
    Evolution spans the Universe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howie View Post
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    I'll be back!

    The Terminator
    I was thinking the same thing.

    I am not sure that I would want someone messing around in my head with sharp instruments and electric gizmos. Unless it was a matter of life and death. You only get one chance with your brain, even when it looks like Swiss cheese. I am just afraid that too much could go wrong and we don't know enough about the brain.

    But I think that if the technology is there and someone wants to give it a whirl.....well then they should be afforded the chance. If I was completely paralyzed I am sure that I would be singing a different tune. As most of us here have had a body part/area that quits working we all know its no fun.

    I do have to remind myself that trying is the only way to learn if something works. Through out history how many times have the words been said "Well it worked on paper and I don't know why is doesn't work now"? And lets face it animal trials are not always the same as trying it on people.

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    Distinguished Community Member Lazarus's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post. I have been reading about deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's patient. Tere is also work to use it to help people lose weight without surgery.

    This research is similar and very interesting.
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howie View Post
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    I'll be back!

    The Terminator
    I was thinking more on the line of the tv spy series Intelligence.

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    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    At 75 what have I got to lose?!?!
    Love, Sally


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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalpalSally View Post
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    At 75 what have I got to lose?!?!
    Oh come now, Sally. You have many years ahead of you and I can't imagine that a "cardiac event" would be exactly welcome.

    I've known a couple of people who lived to be 100 and I have several neighbors in their 90s. Everybody's living longer.
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

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