A quadriplegic command an exoskeleton with implants in the brain

Health 29 June, 2017

The Clinatec, which are carried out in the research (Simdaperce/Wikimedia)

Published the 29.06.2017 at 18h23


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The scenario is worthy of a science fiction novel. And yet, the man grew to become a reality. In Grenoble (Isère), the team of Pr Alim-Louis Benabid has made an first patient, a quadriplegic in order to ask him an exoskeleton. Our colleagues from Science and the Future of the show on the occasion of the Congress of neurosurgery WSSFN, which takes place in Berlin (Germany) from 26 to 29 June.

The goal is clear : to provide patients with tetraplegia, a solution that enables them to regain mobility. This is the first time that such a device is tested in humans. Because the CHU of Grenoble does not only rely on an exoskeleton. He is also working on an interface that makes the link between the orders given by the brain and the machine that performs the movement.

18 to 40 years old

To achieve this exchange of information, two implants are placed in the brain, between the meninges and the skull. They are equipped with 64 electrodes, says the magazine. They record the brain activity and transmit to a computer whose algorithm ensures the translation to move the exoskeleton. “We have permission to operate on five patients,” explains professor Benabid.

Men and women are called to present themselves to the CHU of Grenoble. Volunteers must be aged 18 to 40 years, specific the details of the clinical trial. But several contraindications are listed, including a history of depression or alcohol dependence, but also the prescription of anticoagulants or even a brain surgery in the past.