Wednesday, April 13, 2016
However, there have been some new developments in terms of treatment with the most recent being a chip which is implanted in the brain to read brain signals. Those signals are then interpreted by a computer and a sleeve, fitted with 130 different electrodes, is able to stimulate different muscles in the arm causing them to contract. Ian Burkhart became paralyzed at age 18 after a serious car accident and had no use of his arms or legs for nearly six years. After undergoing this procedure, was able to regain some control of motion in his right hand to the point where he could move large objects, pour the contents of a glass and swipe a credit card among other things. Ian is hopeful that one day he will have full range of motion in both his hands using this new technology.
While this isn't a "cure" for paralysis other technological workarounds already exists giving those who are paralyzed some degree of movement back. In 2012 a women was able to control a robotic arm with only her thoughts. With advancements like these it isn't crazy to think that, sometime in the near future, we could see new technology that allows those who are paralyzed to regain function of their limbs and improve their overall quality of life.
-Cole DiStasio (Group 1)