HealthPeople with disabilities

The paralyzed people had a hope to "feel" again, thanks to a prosthetic hand, connected to the brain

According to one of the prospective studies, a 28-year-old man who was paralyzed for more than 10 years, again found the ability to "feel" the hand. The thing is that electrodes were connected to the sensory area of the patient's cerebral cortex. Recall that this area of the brain is responsible for tactile sensations, for example, pressure. Another part of the electrodes was connected to the motor zone of the cerebral cortex, which controls human movements.

Principle of operation of the system

How did the scientists manage to test the system? Directly from the electrodes were wires that were specially made for this experiment in the laboratory of applied physics in Maryland. The whole technology was developed on the basis of the principle of neural connections, which the human brain uses to move the hand. Also in the experiment involved a prosthetic hand, which was connected via electrodes with wires directly to the patient's brain. Very soon the researchers announced to the amazed public about the results of the tests. A man could feel a touch to the prosthesis, even when his eyes were tied.

One-way communication

This study is an important milestone in the program "Revolutionary Prosthetics", it shows that in the future it is possible to learn how to manage prostheses with the help of the power of thought. The only obstacle in achieving the desired result so far is the impossibility of feedback signals. After all, if the hands can send signals to the brain, then the prosthesis in this case is powerless. So far, only one-way communication is obtained. However, scientists expect to get almost 100% control over the prosthesis in the event that it will be possible to implant the electrodes directly into the human brain. Thus, the potential for seamless bio-technological restoration of the natural function of a paralyzed person opens.

Other studies

In addition to this technology, the research center unveiled data from another program that worked to increase the capacity of people suffering from memory loss. Several dozens of volunteers participated in the development, who had neurological problems that were not related to memory loss. Tiny matrixes of electrodes were placed in the brain regions involved in the formation of declarative, spatial, and navigation memory. The attached electrodes enabled scientists to read information related to the search for the memory of the experimental. Also, researchers could see and when exactly the volunteer is going to make a mistake in the recall.

So, the initial results are obtained. Now we know exactly what can be read from the outside, and also interpret the signals for memory processing. This information should serve as a key to improving the functions of the brain in people suffering from memory loss. At the moment, researchers are working on creating targeted electrical stimulation of the brain.

Potential of similar experiments

Already, scientists have gathered a lot of information about how the human brain encodes a declarative memory. Early experiments can make some clarifications in these questions. Also, scientists suggest that there is a huge potential in developing assistance to people suffering from certain types of memory function disorders.

As the technologies of implantable devices are constantly improving, scientists are learning more and more about how to more accurately stimulate the brain. Therefore, in the near future, the military, who suffered contusions and severe wounds, forced to suffer from unsolved neurological problems to this very moment, awaits healing in the person of the latest therapeutic effects.

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