Direct control of paralysed muscles by cortical neurons

The activation of a single neuron in the brain may be enough to help restore muscle activity in the arms of paralysed patients with spinal cord injuries. Chet T. Moritz, Steve I. Perlmutter and Eberhard E. Fetz report their research in Nature (doi:10.1038/nature07418) showing that a potential treatment for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury is to route control signals from the brain around the injury by artificial connections. These results are the first demonstration that direct artificial connections between cortical cells and muscles can compensate for interrupted physiological pathways and restore volitional control of movement to paralysed limbs. 


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