In a time when technology is changing much, a paralysed man can once again move his fingers after a chip was implanted in his brain.
It is indeed great news for Ian Burkhat from Ohio in the United States of America who can now even move individual fingers and play a guitar – based computer game.
The chip that has been implanted in his brain has the capacity to read brain signals which are then decoded by a computer. Then what happens that his muscles are simultaneously stimulated with the aid of electric charge and the movement is restored.
The researchers and developers of this this technological health advancement hope that this development will turn to be of great help to people living with paralysis, stroke and the different forms of brain damages.
Ian, who is now 24 years old and paralysed, bumped into paralysis nearly six years ago in a fatal diving incident.
The accident saw his spinal cord injured making it incapable for signals from his brains to make a full travel to the rest of his body after being initiated or triggered by his brain.
This made Ian paralysed below his elbows and also the left, therefore being incapable of walking.
At the moment, it must be the happiest moment in his life as he encounters the “big shock” as he is able to move his hand again after the life changing procedure at Ohio State University.
The procedure included a sensor being implanted his brain to be able to read the activities being carried out by the hundreds of neurons in his brain in the motor cortex.
It then involved a couple of tedious hours to try and teach an advanced computer program how to understand the various myriads in Ian’s brain.
He also had to wear a stimulating sleeve that contained 130 electrodes primed to trigger and stimulate his right arm by contacting different muscles in the arm.
The results, published in the journal Nature , were the made public and they showed that he can grasp or hold and even move larger objects, pour the contents inside a glass and even swipe a credit card.
Ian made a description of the early session as like a seven hours exam, he said the session left him completely tired, fatigue and also exhausted.
He said that he had to break down each and every part of the motion and also think about it in a more concentrated manner. “For the total of 19 years of my lifetime I have totally been taking it for granted’” he said.
However, with immense practice, Ian is learning new movements more quickly and this will enable his enjoy his life and movements once more.
The study carried out at Ohio State University marks a very significant moment in the field where computers are being used to bypass the several spinal injuries on human beings