Quadriplegic Man Regains Hand Movement Thanks to Pioneering Brain Chip Implant

Man receiving brain chip implant

A par­a­lyzed man is able to move and feel his hands again thanks to a ground­break­ing exper­i­men­tal brain implant procedure.

45-year-old Kei­th Thomas was left quad­ri­pleg­ic after a 2020 div­ing acci­dent. But neu­ro­sur­geons at New York’s Fein­stein Insti­tutes have now suc­cess­ful­ly implant­ed a microchip into Thomas’ brain that allows sig­nals to bypass his sev­ered spinal cord.

The first-of-its-kind brain-com­put­er inter­face has act­ed like an “elec­tron­ic bridge” between Thomas’s brain and his dis­con­nect­ed body. After months of neu­rotech­nol­o­gy train­ing, Thomas can now par­tial­ly move and feel sen­sa­tions in both hands.

Sci­en­tists say the microchip implants arti­fi­cial­ly stim­u­late Thomas’ arm and hand mus­cles while track­ing his thought pat­terns. By help­ing rebuild con­nec­tions in the spinal cord, the pio­neer­ing pro­ce­dure has restored par­tial motor con­trol and feeling.

Thomas says the life-chang­ing expe­ri­ence has been over­whelm­ing after assum­ing he may nev­er move again fol­low­ing the spinal cord injury. The med­ical mile­stone offers new hope for quad­ri­pleg­ics who were told paral­y­sis would be permanent.

Researchers will con­tin­ue refin­ing the implant tech­nol­o­gy with the goal of giv­ing par­a­lyzed patients greater mobil­i­ty and inde­pen­dence. Thomas hopes his case inspires new break­throughs that could help count­less oth­ers down the road.

The brain chips mark a major advance­ment in thought-con­trolled paral­y­sis treat­ments. Thomas’ revived hand func­tion proves the con­cept has real promise for injury vic­tims told they would nev­er move again.

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