Paralyzed monkey walks with new wireless SCI therapy system: 6 observations

Written by Megan Wood | November 10, 2016 | Print  |

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne researchers created a new system for spinal cord injury therapy, wirelessly connecting the brain to the spinal cord below the injury, according to The New York Times.

Here are six observations:


1. The new system allowed a monkey with a paralyzed leg from SCI to walk.


2. Unlike other systems, this one doesn't require the monkey to be attached to a computer and focuses on the lower part of the body.


3. The researchers said the system is not intended to cure paralysis, but rather enhance rehabilitation.


4. Leveraging brain recording and nerve stimulation developments, the system decodes and relays brain signals to the spinal cord, indicating movement at the right time.


5. The researchers also emphasized walking in humans is mostly controlled by the spinal cord and reflex system, as humans don't really think about walking, so it's outside the realm of complete brain control.


6. The researchers hope their system will serve as a therapy for humans with SCI in a decade.


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