Walking in Tetraplegia: WIMAGINE Device Saves Lives

Walking in Tetraplegia WIMAGINE Device Saves Lives

A 28-year-old guy with limited arm movement following a rigid cervical spine injury is now able to move his arms in various directions and walk handling an exoskeleton hung from the ceiling.

The exchangeable implantation of transpacific recorders above the sensorimotor cortices of his brain and the decoding of epidural electrocorticography data produced enabled these attainments.

The sufferer learns once again how to affect his arms and legs implementing a brain-computer interface, for the first time actively involving in various computer games, then transporting a computer avatar, and eventually regulating to the exoskeleton. The film “Avatar” comes true!

The Investigation Firsthand

“Firstly, a tetraplegic sufferer was able to make the first step then walk and manage both arms applying this neuroprosthetic, that records, transfers, and decodes brain signs in real-time mode to manage an exoskeleton,” a research author Guillaume Charvet, project manager of the Brain-Computer Interface plan at Clinatec in Grenoble, France, said to Medscape Medical News.

He is one member of an open-ended utility study of the procedure. The 2-year results of the study were published online on October 3 in Lancet Neurology.

“The current project, called Brain-Computer Interface, aims to confirm that, after preparation, a person with a severe motor disability…is able to manage multiple working substitution projects, such as a four-limb exoskeleton, by decoding his brain electrical activity,” Charvet stated.

This is not the original study in which an exoskeleton was used to support the recovery process itself or neurologic rehabilitation after a stroke or critical spinal cord injury. Nevertheless, prior work concentrated on hand orthotics or exoskeletons that were located around an arm or the lower limbs. Charvet and his partners conducted a more whole-body program.

The Past Efforts

In the past investigation, administration of various actions was performed using wire microelectrode records, however “a clinically agreeable solution to recompense for motor deficiencies does not exist,” Charvet and co-workers claim.

The contemporary researchers created the WIMAGINE device. It is entirely implantable and biocompatible so as to allow long-term use.

To determine the best placement of each implant with its 64 electrodes, the researchers asked the patient to make real or imagined movements with his arms and legs.

He repeated these movements while analysts imaged his brain employing magnetoencephalography (MEG) and fMRI. This imaging enabled them to identify the center of his sensorimotor cortex for precise medical implantation.

Optional and Practical Mobilities

The patient’s tetraplegia emerged from a C4–C5 spinal cord damage. He could incur his biceps to move his arms at the elbow and was able to move his left wrist. Oppositely, his sensory-motor deficit was perfect.

At the research record, the only assistive technology that he used was a wheelchair, which was established by a left-arm support joystick. He was a nominee for the investigation because his fMRI and MEG record-keeping has determined that cortical signs were manufactured when he imagined himself impelling all his limbs.

To Sum Up

The patient completed progressively higher challenging assignments. Patterns incorporate a video game similar to Pong, in which he thoughtfully established a paddle to intercept a falling ball. He also transferred out to touch a target as part of a two-dimensional game and used his fingertips to interact with a three-dimensional panel of eight light-emitting diodes.

Vera Videshina

Vera Videshina is considered to be one of the most promising and easy-to-read writers in the medical sphere. Her articles are published by lots of the American and European journals and sites annually. Medicine and everything connected with drugs has always been her hobby that Vera converted into the professional blog and personal achievement. Vera deals not only with medical topics, but also she writes about politics, general popular spheres, citizenship in multiple cities worldwide, etc. Her articles are always juicy and worth reading twice!

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