Scientists invent machine that allows people with complete locked-in syndrome to communicate

Wendy was barely 20 years old when she received a devastating diagnosis: juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an aggressive neurodegenerative disorder that destroys motor neurons in the brain and the spinal cord. Within half a year, Wendy was completely paralyzed. At 21 years old, she had to be artificially ventilated and fed through a tubeContinue reading “Scientists invent machine that allows people with complete locked-in syndrome to communicate”

‘Brain wi-fi’ shown to be able to reverse leg paralysis in a primate.

By James Gallagher An implant that beams instructions out of the brain has been used to restore movement in paralysed primates for the first time, say scientists. Rhesus monkeys were paralysed in one leg due to a damaged spinal cord. The team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology bypassed the injury by sending theContinue reading “‘Brain wi-fi’ shown to be able to reverse leg paralysis in a primate.”

US military enhancing human skills with electrical brain stimulation

Study paves way for personnel such as drone operators to have electrical pulses sent into their brains to improve effectiveness in high pressure situations. US military scientists have used electrical brain stimulators to enhance mental skills of staff, in research that aims to boost the performance of air crews, drone operators and others in theContinue reading “US military enhancing human skills with electrical brain stimulation”

Graphene successfully interfaced with neurons in the brain

Scientists have long been on a quest to find a way to implant electrodes that interface with neurons into the human brain. If successful, the idea could have huge implications for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. Last month, a team of researchers from Italy and the UK made a huge stepContinue reading “Graphene successfully interfaced with neurons in the brain”

Scientists encode memories in a way that bypasses damaged brain tissue

Researchers at University of South Carolina (USC) and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a brain prosthesis that is designed to help individuals suffering from memory loss. The prosthesis, which includes a small array of electrodes implanted into the brain, has performed well in laboratory testing in animals and is currently being evaluated inContinue reading “Scientists encode memories in a way that bypasses damaged brain tissue”

Paralyzed man walks again, using only his mind.

Paraplegic Adam Fritz works out with Kristen Johnson, a spinal cord injury recovery specialist, at the Project Walk facility in Claremont, California on September 24. A brain-to-computer technology that can translate thoughts into leg movements has enabled Fritz, paralyzed from the waist down by a spinal cord injury, to become the first such patient toContinue reading “Paralyzed man walks again, using only his mind.”

Mind-controlled drones promise a future of hands-free flying

There have been tentative steps into thought-controlled drones in the past, but Tekever and a team of European researchers just kicked things up a notch. They’ve successfully tested Brainflight, a project that uses your mental activity (detected through a cap) to pilot an unmanned aircraft. You have to learn how to fly on your own,Continue reading “Mind-controlled drones promise a future of hands-free flying”

Deep brain stimulation treatment for patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

It seems simple: Walk to the refrigerator and grab a drink. But Brett Larsen, 37, opens the door gingerly — peeks in — closes it, opens it, closes it and opens it again. This goes on for several minutes. When he finally gets out a bottle of soda, he places his thumb and index fingerContinue reading “Deep brain stimulation treatment for patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)”

‘Mind pilots’ steer plane sim with thoughts alone

Electrodes attached to a cap convert brain waves into signals that can be processed by the flight simulator for hands-free flying. New research out of the Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany is hinting that mind control might soon reach entirely new heights — even by us non-mutants. They’ve demonstrated that pilots might be ableContinue reading “‘Mind pilots’ steer plane sim with thoughts alone”

New research suggests that a third of patients diagnosed as vegetative may be conscious with a chance for recovery

Imagine being confined to a bed, diagnosed as “vegetative“—the doctors think you’re completely unresponsive and unaware, but they’re wrong. As many as one-third of vegetative patients are misdiagnosed, according to a new study in The Lancet. Using brain imaging techniques, researchers found signs of minimal consciousness in 13 of 42 patients who were considered vegetative.Continue reading “New research suggests that a third of patients diagnosed as vegetative may be conscious with a chance for recovery”