Device Reconnects Brain and Muscles, Paralyzed Man Walks

A man who was paralyzed in a cycling accident in 2011 has regained the ability to stand and walk with the help of a brain-machine interface. Gert-Jan Oskam, who was told he would never walk again, underwent a surgery in which electrodes were implanted in his brain to detect neural activity related to leg movement. The signals are then processed by an algorithm and sent to electrodes in his spine, stimulating the appropriate muscles for walking.

The device, described as a “digital bridge,” allows Oskam to initiate and control movements through his thoughts. The researchers behind the project hope that future advancements in this technology can benefit stroke patients and others with paralysis, aiding in various motor functions and improving rehabilitation.