She is 32 years old. She has been paralyzed for at least 13 years. Enter Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) — a new system aimed at restoring mobility in severely paralyzed patients. And here are the results that will leave you startled! This woman can now walk using a walker, braces, and a therapist’s help. Now that’s something really surprising for the patients as well as the researchers.
Developed by Duke University neuroscience Miguel Nicolelis and colleagues, the system tapped into the patients’ own brain activity to simulate full control of their legs, causing the injured parts of their spinal cord to re-engage.