I Think, Therefore I Move

by Jennifer Lahl, CBC President on April 20, 2016

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Wonderful new developments in biotechnologies are helping people with spinal cord injuries move simply by thinking! People who suffer traumatic spinal cord injuries go from one day being a healthy and functioning human being to being instantly and permanently paralyzed.

Ian Burkhart, for example, was left with quadriplegia nearly six years ago after a diving accident. Today, Ian, now 24, is involved in breakthrough research that allows him to think about moving his limbs and then actually move his limbs.

Scientists and researchers have developed what is called a synthetic neural bypass. In patients with spinal cord injuries, the pathways from the brain to the limbs are blocked, but by bypassing the injury and training people to think about their movements, this bypass system is now allowing Ian to do things like pick up a glass, grasp objects with fine motor movement, and even play simple guitar songs. Watch Ian, the “first paralyzed man to move again,” here.

It is exciting to see ethical biotechnological progress for the human good.

Image from nature video via YouTube

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