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Medicine Biotech Technology

Paralyzed Man Uses Own Brainwaves To Walk Again -- No Exoskeleton Required 35

Zothecula writes: A man suffering complete paralysis in both legs has regained the ability to walk again using electrical signals generated by his own brain. Unlike similar efforts that have seen paralyzed subjects walk again by using their own brainwaves to manually control robotic limbs, the researchers say this is the first time a person with complete paralysis in both legs due to spinal cord injury was able to walk again under their own power and demonstrates the potential for noninvasive therapies to restore control over paralyzed limbs.
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Paralyzed Man Uses Own Brainwaves To Walk Again -- No Exoskeleton Required

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  • by Ronin Developer ( 67677 ) on Saturday September 26, 2015 @12:46PM (#50604007)

    Next, we will hear how he was attacked by an inflatable flying shark.

    Seriously, this is a pretty radical advance.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      I too had just read the mind-control-shark headline nearby and for a split second mixed the two stories, picturing a walking shark:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    • "They can fix a spine, but not on VA benefits, not in this economy."

      This is actually seriously cool - bypassing the broken wiring (or extending unbroken wiring). Obviously first baby steps but give it a decade or two, could be very, very interesting.

    • This is no joke. Gordan freeman will literally make you shit yourself from the unobservable part of the universe... Secondary content aside. This man is a complete badass in the face of inescapable odds. He literally does not accept how the universe made him to be.. Fear him but most importantly, seriously in reality as you know.. Fear the guy with the guy with the technological advancements that causes the world to change the universe. Yes it is a big step to take... But eventually every one will realise
  • So much idiocy in so little space. Concerning the technical details of the article, I can't help but wonder if this person is in a similar danger to diabetics who get minor injuries to their legs and are unaware of it due to neuropathy, only to then get infections that lead to eventual amputation. My grandmother was one such person. This tech seems more like a bridge than a solution to the important problem of inducing nerve regeneration / replacement.
    • by Ronin Developer ( 67677 ) on Saturday September 26, 2015 @01:34PM (#50604181)

      Did you actually read the article? They were able to stimulate the nerves in the legs by interpreting the brain waves detected by an electroencephalograph. They acknowledged that there is no feedback to the brain (as of yet) to restore feeling. This has nothing to do with nerve regeneration.

      Diabetic neuropathy is the result of damaged nerves from too much glucose. I, like many other diabetics, face it as a real possibility. I also acknowledge that the cause for DN is from the high glucose levels damaging the nerves. Regeneration will only delay the inevitable. Instead, they need to find ways to restore proper insulin production and to reverse insulin resistance.

      The technique in the article is a first bridge and a monumental step forward to restoring mobility at a time when nerve regeneration isn't yet possible.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      There was an article about trying to repair the nerves in the spine earlier this month.
      From last week: Damaged Spinal Cord "Rewires" Itself With Help of Electrical Stimulation.
      http://science.slashdot.org/st... [slashdot.org]

      Much work still to be done.

  • John Wayne starred in the movie. I remember Dan Daley playing a ukulele and singing "I'm gonna move that toe" - probably was meant as an inspiration, but I think it just kept annoying the heck out of the paralyzed guy until he got motivated enough to walk again just so he could punch the ukulele player in the mouth.

    Wait, we're not talking about something that happened in the 1940s?

  • "We're gonna connect you back up to the nerves below the back break."

    "Finally! Thank you, doctor!"

    "There you go, you can walk again. Aww, don't cry!'

    "My legs aren't what I wanted you to hook the nerves to!"

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius