By: Tina Davidson
Someone put a remote control in her brain and she can communicate?
It seems that this is more likely to happen in a sci-fi movie (or an episode of The Simpsons) than reality, but thanks to a group of researchers, this cutting edge technology is making communication possible for Hanneke De Bruijne.
De Bruijne has ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and developed locked-in-syndrome (almost all her voluntary muscles, except her eyes, are paralyzed). She can’t speak, but thanks to the help of a surgically implanted brain computer interface (which works like a remote control), she can now type out words.
“This is the world’s first totally implanted brain-computer interface system that someone has used in her daily life with some success,” said Dr. Jonathan R. Wolpaw, the director of the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies in Albany.
I recommend you check out Steph Yin’s entire article, “Brain Implant Eases Communication by Late-Stage A.L.S. Patient.”
Please keep up the good work, brain researchers!!
Thanks to The Tribune (sanluisobispo.com) for running the article that originally caught my attention.
Source: Steph Yin, The New York Times