For eight years, Bill Kovechar was unable to move his arms after becoming paralyzed in a bicycle accident but now, thanks to pioneering brain-muscle technology developed at three Cleveland health institutions, Bill can feed himself again. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
EMBARGOED UNTIL 2030 GMT / 1830 EST ON 3/28/2017 ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Doctors may soon be able to help their patients with quadriplegia and other injuries related to paralysis move again with the help of new brain-recording and muscle-stimulating computer systems, according to a new study. The study, which was published in The Lancet on Tuesday (March 28), documented the use of a brain implant and a muscle stimulator to help a man with quadriplegia move his arm and hand for the first time in eight years. Doctors and researchers at Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center, and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (UH) worked to develop "a brain-computer interface with recording electrodes under his skull, and a functional electrical stimulation (FES) system" design to send signals from the brain to the muscles a patient desires to move. The connection allows the patient to "reconnect his brain to paralyzed muscles." In the study, Bill Kovechar, who became paralyzed after a bicycle accident, was able to move his arm and hand to drink water, hold a pretzel, and eat mashed potatoes. According to the researchers, he's "believed to be the first person with quadriplegia in the world to have arm and hand movements restored with the help of two temporarily implanted technologies."