Implant helps paralyzed patient walk

An implant that restores the connection between the brain and spinal cord has helped a paralyzed patient stand and walk.

The device, published in the journal Nature, was also found to improve his neurological recovery, and the patient was able to walk with crutches even when the implant was disabled.

A spinal cord injury can interrupt communication between the brain and the area of ​​the spinal cord that controls walking, resulting in paralysis. OURsome previous approaches to restoring movement in people with this type of paralysis have involved electrical stimulation of areas of the spinal cord to enable patients to stand and walk. However, this required patients to wear motion sensors, and patients demonstrated a limited ability to adapt leg movements to changing terrain and requirements.

According to the researchers, digitally connecting the brain and spinal cord could improve coordination control and range of muscle activity, as well as restore more natural and adaptive control of standing and walking in these patients.

Neuroscientist Grégoire Courtin and colleagues tested the Brain-Spine Interface (BSI), which consists of an implanted recording and stimulation system that creates a direct connection between the brain and areas of the spinal cord involved in walking. BSI was able to calibrate in minutes and remained reliable and stable for over a year, even at home unattended.

The patient reported that BSI allows natural control of his leg movements to stand, walk, climb stairs and even cross difficult terrain. In addition, with the help of this device, his neurological recovery also improved and the patient was able to walk again with crutches even when the BSI was turned off.

Source: RES-IPE

Author: newsroom

Source: Kathimerini

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