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Brain Implant Allows a Locked-in Patient to Communicate with Family

Brain Implant

Brain Implant

The individual, who is 30 years old and lives in Germany, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in August 2015. ALS is a rare and progressive neurological illness that damages movement-controlling neurons. He was unable to speak or walk by the end of the year. He has been breathing with a ventilator since July 2016.

After being implanted with a gadget that allows him to control a keyboard with his mind, a completely locked-in patient is able to type out words and brief sentences to his family, including what he wants to eat.

The findings, that were published in Nature Communications, challenge previously held beliefs about the communicative abilities of people who have lost all voluntary muscle control, including the ability to move their eyes or mouth, and provide a unique insight into what it’s like to be “locked in.”



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