Tag: Ian Burkhart
A “neural bypass” routes signals around the damaged spinal cord, potentially restoring both movement and sensation
In 2015, a group of neuroscientists and engineers assembled to watch a man play the video game Guitar Hero. He held the simplified guitar interface gingerly, using the fingers of his right hand to press down on the fret buttons and his left hand to hit the strum bar. What made this mundane bit of game play so extraordinary was the fact that the man had been paralyzed from the chest down for more than three years, without any use of his hands. Every time he moved his fingers to play a note, he was playing a song of restored autonomy.
This is the first BMI to restore movement and touch simultaneously
Ten years ago, while on vacation in North Carolina, Ian Burkhart broke his neck in a diving accident. The diagnosis was as life-changing as the injury: a complete spinal cord injury in the cervical spine. An injury of this nature often results in paraplegia. Burkhart might regain some movement and sensation in his shoulders and upper arm, doctors said. But the chances of ever moving his hands again were slim.
A quadriplegic man has been able to move his fingers, hand and wrist after having a tiny computer chip implanted in his brain. The neuroprosthetic device, which is smaller than a pea, translates neural activity in order to activate paralysed muscles.
Ian Burkhart, a 24-year-old from Ohio, was paralysed following a diving accident six years ago. The injury to his spinal cord left him unable to move his arms and legs. Paralysis is caused by a disruption of signal pathways between the brain and muscles. Previously, researchers have been able to restore movement in humans with the aid of robotics or assistive devices, but movements without these aids has only ever been achieved in non-human primates.
For the first time ever, a paralyzed man can move his fingers and hand with his own thoughts thanks to an innovative partnership between The Ohio State Univ. Wexner Medical Center and Battelle.
Ian Burkhart, a 23-year-old quadriplegic from Dublin, Ohio, is the first patient to use Neurobridge, an electronic neural bypass for spinal cord injuries that reconnects the brain directly to muscles, allowing voluntary and functional control of a paralyzed limb. Burkhart is the first of a potential five participants in a clinical study.