I think there are few things scarier than the concept of paralysis.
The thought of being a virtual prisoner inside ones own body, elicits a cold-sweat inducing kind of panic in me that few other things can. I'm one of the lucky ones though because for me it is just that, a thought. Sadly, for millions of others out there this is their reality and the prognosis has always been pretty bleak. Until now.
In a world first, a procedure has allowed a quadriplegic man to control movement of his arm using his own thoughts. Just let that sink in for a second... using his own thoughts! Of course, this experimental technology is at very early stages but the fact that it exists is mind blowing. Researchers hope to streamline this technology so that it will become a routine procedure for people with paralysis. While it is important to note that this is not a cure for paralysis, it could potentially be a way of overcoming the devastating manifestation of the condition and giving people back their life as they (kind of, almost) knew it.
I, for one, am really excited to see how this technology evolves!
Bill Kochevar, 53, has had electrical implants in the motor cortex of his brain and sensors inserted in his forearm, which allow the muscles of his arm and hand to be stimulated in response to signals from his brain, decoded by computer. After eight years, he is able to drink and feed himself without assistance.