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New technology for individuals with paralysis

| Aug 7, 2015 | Spinal Cord Injuries

Researchers have recently developed brain-controlled prosthetic devices that could make a huge difference in the lives of people in New York and around the country who are paralyzed. People with ALS and spinal cord injuries may be able to experience a new level of control using improved technology.

It is difficult to make brain-controlled devices very precise, because they use the signals from only a few hundred neurons. They then must make estimations about what the brain signals mean. A team from Stanford University has been working on a keyboard designed for individuals with spinal cord injuries and ALS sufferers using a technique that could make the technology more precise.

The new technology is based on studies of reaching muscle movement in monkeys. Researchers came up with an algorithm that can translate brain signals into electrical signals in the device. They then tested the technology using two normal monkeys. The researchers tested the device with signals from the monkeys’ brains and compared the hits on the device to the physical arm movement of the monkeys. This technology could make a huge difference in the lives of people with ALS and those with paralysis due to spinal cord injuries. ALS is a progressive disease that is currently incurable. Spinal cord injuries frequently happen as a result of accidents, such as diving in shallow areas, contact sports, motor vehicle collisions and falls from a height.

A person who has suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to discuss the recourse that may be available. Legal counsel may, after a review of available evidence surrounding the injury, suggest pursuing a lawsuit against the responsible party seeking damages for the losses that have been sustained.

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