Imagine being paralyzed from the chest down and being asked to be the first person to test Neurobridge, a technology that would allow you to move your hand with only the power of thought. This became a reality for Ian Burkhart, 23, paralyzed from the chest down from a swimming accident nearly four years ago.
Dr. Ali Rezai, a neurosurgeon from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, implanted a pea-sized sensor chip into the motor cortex region of Ian’s brain. After months of preparation, Ian’s brain activity – namely his wishful intentions to move his fingers and pickup a spoon – were read, interpreted and recoded in a language that his muscles could understand and then perform. Neurobridge, collaboratively developed by Ohio State University and the applied science development non-profit Battelle, took under a tenth of a second to perform Ian’s movements.
“Having brain surgery you don’t really need, with all the risks that brings – I definitely was more calm and collected about it than my family. But they were still by my side, they knew it was something I wanted to do,” said Ian who lives in Ohio to Rosa Prince, a New York-based American correspondent for The Telegraph, UK. “For me, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to become the first person in the world to do something we have all been dreaming of.”
What’s next? With this advancement, engineers from Battelle and doctors from Ohio State University believe the day is soon coming when individuals with quadriplegia, paralysis or physical impairment due to brain injury will be able to move their hands, arms and legs with just the power of their mindset.
Neurobridge: Cerebral Palsy Technology – #CPResearch, #CPTechnology, #CerebralPalsy
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“Technology allows quadriplegic man to move hand.” CBS Interactive Inc., June 24, 2014. Retrieved from CBS Interactive Inc.
Prince, Rosa (2014, June 25). “Bionic man Ian Burkhart tells of moment he made ‘dead’ hand move through power of thought,” The Telegraph. Retrieved from The Telegraph.
Starr, Michelle (2014, June 24). “Neurobridge device allows quadriplegic to move his own hand,” CNET. Retrieved from CNET.