For many years medical teams have tried to come up with a permanent prevention or cure for paralysis, and it appears that scientists and medical researchers have made significant breakthroughs in the form of a brain implant.
Fortunately, brain implants have worked for many patients who were sure they were going to live the rest of their lives without being able to move their arms and legs due to severe spinal cord or head injuries. By using a brain-computer interface the lost connection between the brain and other organs was restored, allowing the patient to live their life like a normal healthy individual. It is a huge step forward in medicine.
There is an argument about whether the much sought-after treatment will be available for patients from all social classes? More importantly, will it be easily available in third-world countries where the rate of disease leading to paralysis is significantly high?
The procedure costs somewhere between $70,000 and $100,000 making it too expensive for most people with or without health insurance.
It will be quite a few decades until the procedure is available, but the procedure does not seem to be widely available due to the complex nature and cost. Even more common performed treatments like liver and kidney transplants are not easily available in many parts of the world.
Despite this, it is a remarkable discovery by scientists. Hopefully, with more researches and investment, more accessible options might be available for the benefit of everyone.
In a separate study, Scientists from Stanford successfully implanted a device into a man’s brain that allowed his paralyzed hands to type words with nothing more than the power of thought. Known as a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI), it enables the user to restore basic motor skills including talking and moving, by decoding the neural activity in the motor cortex. But this could only be the start of some incredible things to come, including curing mental health issues.
Theodore Berger, a neuroscientist in Southern California, has been working on a memory chip that mimics the function of the Hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for memories. Using the chip Berger has successfully managed to restore long term memory in rats. Trials in humans are in the very early stages, but with millions of people suffering from neurodegenerative complications from Alzheimers, Strokes or brain injuries, it seems that there are many applications for Berger’s technology should it be successful in trial.