Neural prosthetic systems have been used to help paralyzed people control wheelchairs and other external tools using their own brain activity. Now, according to a recent article from Science News, this technology is being used for the first time to allow a quadriplegic man to control his own hand.
A Flexible Sleeve Of Electrodes Strapped To The Forearm
The article looks at the case of college student Ian Burkhart, who was paralyzed in 2010 after diving into shallow water and suffering serious damage to his spinal cord.
Burkhart underwent voluntary surgery in which doctors implanted electrodes in his brain. These electrodes were designed to monitor the nerve cell activity related to hand movements. Scientists used a computer program to decipher activity as movement commands. They outfitted Burkhart with a flexible sleeve of electrodes strapped to his forearm, which stimulates hand muscles. Since beginning to use this technology in 2014, he has become able to make increasingly complex hand movements, including picking things up and even playing a guitar video game.
Could This Be Used To Help People Paralyzed In Car Accidents?
The article points out that the technology is not yet ready for real world use. However, scientists are trying to create a smaller, wireless version of the technology so that it can leave the lab. Furthermore, the same type of technology may eventually be used to bypass a paralyzed spine and create movement in other parts of the body.
In the meantime, victims of motor vehicle accidents and other acts of negligence should be cognizant of the fact that new technology is being created every day. When pursuing a claim against a negligent driver, it is important to hold out for full compensation to cover the best medical treatment and technology currently available.
At Stephen T. Holman, P.A., our attorneys are committed to standing up for victims of spinal cord injuries and other injuries suffered in auto wrecks. We will work hard to pursue all the compensation you need to cover medical costs and more.