Anyone who has ever been involved in a traffic accident knows all too well how, in a matter of seconds, one's entire life can be turned upside down. According to the New York Police Department, last month alone, officers responded to a total of 20,025 motor vehicle collisions throughout the city's five boroughs.
A new breakthrough may allow New York residents who are paralyzed to regain some motion and sensation in their body. In a medical trial at Frazier Rehab Institute in Kentucky, a patient was given an epidural stimulator that sent signals to and from the brain. The stimulator was placed in a device shaped like a box and attached to the spinal cord. Signals received by the brain mimic those that are routinely exchanged in those with healthy spinal cords.
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.
In the 2013 movie Elysium, audience members were introduced to technology of the year 2154, including a futuristic looking mechanical exoskeleton that not only helped Matt Damon’s character walk, but save the day as well. But while this movie was a work of science fiction, the mechanical exoskeleton seen in the movie is not as far out of reach as we might think and could help people with spinal cord injuries regain their mobility in the near future.