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Could a Wireless Brain Implant Give Spine Injury Victims the Chance to Walk Again?

| Nov 30, 2016 | Firm News

Spinal injuries can significantly alter the lives of victims. The activities they once enjoyed may no longer be possible, or they may need assistance with their daily living activities. Medical expenses and the possible loss of employment can also place victims and their families at risk for injury-induced poverty. Yet modern medicine advances every day, bringing with it the promise of hope. One of the most recent developments is a wireless brain implant that could one day give victims the chance to walk again.

Clinical Animal Trials Already a Success

In a groundbreaking study, scientists used a wireless brain implant to help paralyzed monkeys walk again. Connected to an area of the spinal cord that is below the site of their injury, the result was quick and highly successful. This is not the first step with chip implants, though. Other scientists have managed to help both humans and monkeys regain at least some use of a paralyzed limb. Yet the new discovery is different because former scientists were only able to make hands and arms move. The new technology concentrates on the lower part of the body, and it gave the monkeys the ability to walk.

Could Human Trials Be Next?

Though the new system did prove to be a success, the technology is still in its early stages. It also needs a computer to decode and translate the messages that are being sent from the brain to the paralyzed limb or limbs. Wearable technology might make mobility easier for humans, but there is still a lot of development and fine-tuning to be done (scientists estimate it might take about 10 years to have the system ready for human trials). It is also important to note that there are some potential limitations to the technology. For example, the implant is not going to be designed as a way to “fix” paralysis. Instead, the focus will be on possible rehabilitation.

Our San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys Will Continue to Protect Victims

Regardless of how long it takes to fine-tune the technology, no matter what its limitations may be, our San Diego personal injury lawyers will continue to protect spinal injury victims. We understand the difficult and painful journey you have faced, and we will pursue the most favorable settlement for your family. We offer the experienced assistance you need. To learn more, contact Martinez & Schill, LLP and schedule your consultation. Call 619-512-5995.