Key points from article :
A completely locked-in patient is implanted with a device that enables him to control a keyboard with his mind.
Locked-in syndrome is a condition where people are conscious but are unable to move/speak due to paralysis of voluntary muscles.
Scientists implanted two microelectrode arrays into the brain involved in planning and controlling voluntary movements.
A spelling programallows to select letters one at a time to form words and phrases.
“If you have a choice of no communication, and a communication of one character per minute, the choice is very obvious,” Ujwal Chaudhary, co-led researcher.
“First study to achieve communication by someone who has no remaining voluntary movement,” - Jonas Zimmermann, co-author.
Chaudhary hopes to enable words to be spelled out faster, and to create a dictionary for patients to choose common words/sentences.
Further studies to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the approach.
Study by Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering published in Nature Communications.