Tuesday , May 18 2021

Brain implant examination could help paralyzed

The Stentrode device does not require an open brain operation and will be located within the blood vessel of the motor brain cortex, which controls the movement.

Five patients with a variety of conditions – such as stroke, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, and motor neuronal disease – will participate in the first interview with people at Royal Melbourne and Bethlehem hospitals.

The chief investigator of the trial, Professor Peter Mitchell, says technology will be of use to people who can not speak, locked in their bodies, and virtually do not have any physical function.

"If this test can successfully provide a brain-to-computer interface, it will enable people to communicate with such injuries and illnesses," he said.

Professor Mitchell says the device could give patients the ability to control their mouse or keyboard.

"It would give people a little independence," he said.

Creator Stentrode, associate professor Thomas Oxley, said exploring how brain signals are captured and used to control technology such as computers or text generating could help people have neurological conditions that result in paralysis.

"This research can help us find safer and more effective ways to introduce electrical sensors to patients," he said.

"This could help develop more useful biotechnology for patients with neurological conditions."

The Stentrode trial will begin in mid-2019 and co-operation between Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne University and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

© AAP 2019

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