Some Florida residents who became paralyzed after an accident may be interested to learn that some patients who have been paralyzed for more than 10 years are beginning to regain some control in their muscles. The individuals saw the progress after training on brain-machine interfaces for more than one year.
Approximately 280,000 people in the U.S. are living with spinal cord injuries. These injuries were mostly caused by car accidents, violence and falls. Traditionally, once these injuries occur, people who suffer damage to their spinal cord would live with the damage and limitations that come along with it for the rest of their lives. The results were reported in a study that was published in Scientific Reports. According to the lead author, the results suggest that this long-term training can potentially allow some paraplegic patients to regain certain sensations and potentially even some mobility.
For this treatment, the patients are fitted with electrode-lined caps that record brain activity. The patient’s brain activity triggered movements in a virtual avatar. For example, if the brain activity was telling the body to walk, the patient’s avatar would walk. The machine then sends the signal and sensations back to the patient’s brain. All of the participants of the study saw improvement, while four saw their diagnoses change to partial paralysis.
A spinal cord injury can lead to a permanent disability that requires ongoing and expensive medical care and treatment. When the injury has been the result of another party’s negligence, such as a car accident caused by an impaired driver, a personal injury attorney could be of assistance in seeking compensation through a lawsuit filed against the at-fault party.