In the United States tested a new technology of recovery after a stroke functional electrical stimulation, and interface “brain-computer”, according to medical journal The Lancet. Through the use of this technology have a completely paralyzed patient was able to partially restore movement in the hand.
The operation was conducted at the medical center of the University hospital in Cleveland (Ohio, USA). The patient is 53-year-old male with a spinal cord injury (at the level of the 4th cervical vertebra) obtained as a result of the accident. The testing procedure and data analysis were conducted by specialists of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
With this system the patient is able to move his arm, though the site of the spinal cord, which is responsible for such movements, he destroyed. The affected area of the spinal cord was able to circumvent using the interface “brain-computer” and implanted under the skin of the hands electrodes.
The patient in the cerebral cortex implanted two microelectrode matrix, and in his right hand he implanted subcutaneous electrodes for electrical stimulation of muscles. Signals from microelectrodes in the brain is transmitted to the subcutaneous electrodes using the interface “brain-computer”.
The man was able to perform simple movement of a paralyzed hand to move the forearm and to capture the fingers. Moreover, these movements were not spontaneous and chaotic, the patient is fully monitored. He even was able to use a fork and eat, and drank a Cup of coffee, using the paralyzed arm.
Of course, we are still not talking about the restoration of motor activity after a stroke, but the first step in this direction has been made. In any case, the first case in the history of the use of the interface “brain-computer” in combination with functional electrical stimulation made it possible to achieve very encouraging results. Researchers from the Cleveland stated that he will continue research in this direction.