The bionic age might be among us. A paralyzed American man is the first patient on record to move his hand using the power of thought.
The man, Ian Burkhart, became paralyzed due to a swimming accident four years ago. Doctors inserted a microchip into his brain and he was able to move his fist during the preliminary testing of the chip. Doctors at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center created the “Neurobridge” technology that reads patients’ thoughts and gives them the ability to move paralyzed limbs.Burkhart was even able to pick up a spoon — which gives hope to all of those who have been left immobile due to accidents or health problems.
Witnesses in the room where Burkhart moved his arm described the event as “science fiction come true." The implanted chip has 96 electrodes, which lets neurotransmitters replace signals that no longer work in the brain.
Dr. Ali Rezai, who performed the surgery on Burkhart says, “I do believe there will be a day coming soon when somebody who’s got a disability – being a quadriplegic or somebody with a stroke, somebody with any kind of brain injury – can use the power of their mind and by thinking, be able to move their arms and legs."
This form of innovation has been a long time coming. Giving someone the ability to control the limbs that they have lost control over is a marvel of science and medicine that can give patients a new lease on life.