Thursday, April 19, 2012

Brain Implants Help Paralyzed Monkeys Get a Grip

It feels like the Holy Grail of spinal medicine.  Each announcement seems to put us just in reach.  Yet when I read them, I cannot help but feel encouraged and sad that Christopher Reeves will not be around to benefit from them.

Brain Implants Help Paralyzed Monkeys Get a Grip

sciencehabit writes "Spinal cord injuries cause paralysis because they sever crucial communication links between the brain and the muscles that move limbs. A new study with monkeys demonstrates a way to re-establish those connections. By implanting electrodes in a movement control center in the brain and wiring them up to electrodes attached to muscles in the arm, researchers restored movement to monkeys with a temporarily paralyzed hand. The work is the latest promising development in the burgeoning field of neuroprosthetics."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Monkey do. A new neuroprosthetic enables monkeys with one temporarily paralyzed hand to grasp a ball and put it in a chute (right).
Credit: Adapted from C. Ethier et al., Nature, Advance Online Publication (2012)

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