Paralysis Technology -Brain Power

music
ambience: sound of electric razor, shaving

A new technology has enabled people with spinal injuries to use their paralyzed hands to manipulate ordinary objects. This system makes use of a remote control device which sends faint electrical impulses to stimulate muscle movement. Well now researchers are testing the next generation of this technology, which will allow patients to manipulate their hands using the only the power of thought. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Jim Jatich is a quadriplegic design engineer who’s the subject of an unusual experiment. Jim is hooked up to an electroencephalograph, or EEG, which translates his thought into the movements of a cursor on a computer screen.

ambience: sounds of system (beeping)

“I would look at a computer screen and I would think up and down, and it actually moved that cursor up and down just by thinking up and down.”

Jim spent months at Cleveland’s Functional Electrical Stimulation Center practicing moving the cursor on the computer screen, and then he was ready to try to control the movements of his hand.

“And it was a training process you know, they would record in a different part of the brain through your EEG waves, and use that as an on-off signal to open and close the hand.”

Well this new system could replace Jim’s current remote control device, allowing him to translate his brain activity directly into the electrical impulses he needs to move the muscles in his hand.

“When I got out in front of the hospital is when it hit me. I said, ‘you know, I actually opened and closed my hand by thinking about it.’ And that’s the closest thing to what I had before my injury.

Although it is too early to tell, scientists say they hope to use this new technology to help a variety of patients, from stroke victims to those with bladder and bowel problems.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Paralysis Technology -Brain Power

Soon paralyzed patients my be able to grasp objects with a device that is controlled by their own thoughts.
Air Date:10/18/2011
Scientist:
Transcript:

music
ambience: sound of electric razor, shaving

A new technology has enabled people with spinal injuries to use their paralyzed hands to manipulate ordinary objects. This system makes use of a remote control device which sends faint electrical impulses to stimulate muscle movement. Well now researchers are testing the next generation of this technology, which will allow patients to manipulate their hands using the only the power of thought. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Jim Jatich is a quadriplegic design engineer who's the subject of an unusual experiment. Jim is hooked up to an electroencephalograph, or EEG, which translates his thought into the movements of a cursor on a computer screen.

ambience: sounds of system (beeping)

"I would look at a computer screen and I would think up and down, and it actually moved that cursor up and down just by thinking up and down."

Jim spent months at Cleveland's Functional Electrical Stimulation Center practicing moving the cursor on the computer screen, and then he was ready to try to control the movements of his hand.

"And it was a training process you know, they would record in a different part of the brain through your EEG waves, and use that as an on-off signal to open and close the hand."

Well this new system could replace Jim's current remote control device, allowing him to translate his brain activity directly into the electrical impulses he needs to move the muscles in his hand.

"When I got out in front of the hospital is when it hit me. I said, 'you know, I actually opened and closed my hand by thinking about it.' And that’s the closest thing to what I had before my injury.

Although it is too early to tell, scientists say they hope to use this new technology to help a variety of patients, from stroke victims to those with bladder and bowel problems.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music