Restoring Movement after Paralysis and the Future of Bioelectronic Medicine

Chad Bouton

08:10 - 08:55 | Friday 26 May 2017 | TBD



Millions of people worldwide currently suffer from diseases and injuries leading to severe paralysis. Bioelectronic technology is now being developed to restore movement by decoding and re-routing neural signals around damaged or degenerated neural pathways. It has previously been shown that signals recorded in the brain can be decoded and linked to assistive technology and robotic devices. In non-human primates, these signals have also been used to activate chemically paralyzed arm muscles. More recently, it has been shown signals recorded within the brain can be linked in real-time to muscle activation to restore movement in a paralyzed human. Functional movement and rhythmic movement have now both been demonstrated, with the potential to have a positive impact on the quality of life for paralyzed patients. Bioelectronic medicine research has opened many new doors to ways for treating not only spinal cord injury, but potentially stroke and brain injury as well, leading to many potential treatment options for patients worldwide in the future.