According to Dr. Ajboye, co-author of a study published in Lancet, this past March 28, 2017 his patient Bill Kochevar, a 56-year-old American, suffering from total paralysis, was able to coordinate reaching and grasping movements using his own paralyzed arm and hand, thanks to cerebral implants and an intracortical brain-computer interface.
Mr. Kochevar has been suffering quadriplegic paralysis up to his shoulders, for the past 10 years, following a bicycle accident. At the end of 2014, he underwent an implant operation to use a motorized arm support under cortical control.
American research scientists created an implant, which circumvents the spinal cord injury using wires, electrodes and software to reconnect his brain and his paralyzed arm muscles (see video). Mr. Kochevar has 2 apparatus on his head with 192 electrodes implanted in his brain. The electrodes register brain signals when he imagines he is moving his arm or his hand. With this experimental apparatus, his muscles are electronically stimulated via the signals from 36 implanted percutaneous electrodes in his right upper and lower arm.
Already last April, 2016, a young American, Ian Burkhard succeeded in moving his right arm using a computerized brain interface, but his paralysis was not as serious as that of Mr. Kochevar.
Mr. Kochevar stated « For someone who had been paralyzed, being able to move, even if only a little bit, is very exciting”.
Even if the treatment is still experimental, it is a real scientific step forward, representing real hope for quadriplegic individuals.