A total paralyzed man, who was unable to convey any type of communication for months in the wake of losing the capacity to try and move his eyes, has received a brain implant and at long last was able to communicate for the first thing in quite a while, and you won’t believe what he said right out the gates.
The man, who is presently 36 years old, had two square electrode arrays carefully embedded into his brain to facilitate communication in March of 2019 in the wake of being left in a vegetable-like state because of amyotrophic parallel sclerosis (ALS).
The moment he was able to communicate the first words that came out of his mouth were “I want a beer”. This is quite the request as his first words, and some good ones at that. It makes me think that if a man were to be born as a full-grown adult, his first words would probably be the same.
However, it didn’t stop there. He began making sentences at a pace of only one character per minute, but the man also requested to listen to the song ‘clearly’ by Tool – you might know them.
Later, he mentioned wanting a head massage from his mom and followed up with wanting a bowl of curry. This all was thanks to the implant that made speaking almost natural for him, all he had to do was think about what he wanted to say – and the rest would slowly happen on its own.
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Until recently, a brain implant has not been tested on a completely paralyzed person, and it was not known whether the correspondence was even feasible for individuals who had lost all voluntary muscular control.
“Ours is the first study to achieve communication by someone who has no remaining voluntary movement and hence for whom the BCI is now the sole means of communication,” said Dr. Jonas Zimmermann, a senior neuroscientist at the Wyss Center. “This study answers a long-standing question about whether people with complete locked-in syndrome – who have lost all voluntary muscle control, including movement of the eyes or mouth – also lose the ability of their brain to generate commands for communication.”
It took months of unsuccessful endeavors before the design was accomplished that allowed the patient to utilize mind cues to create a double reaction to a speller program, replying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when shown letters. Additionally, it took another three weeks to deliver the first sentences, and over the course of the following year, the patient was able to create many sentences.
Among the many sentences he created, one of the first was expressing his concern for his care, asking if he could have his head raised up to a straight position when there are guests in the room.
He likewise mentioned various types of food to be fed through his tubes, including sweet pea soup and goulash. “For food I want to have curry with potato then Bolognese and potato soup,” one sentence stated.
What’s more is that he was able to finally at long last communicate with his four-year-old son and spouse, creating the message: “I love my cool son.”
This is awesome news, and good on the doctors who were able to help this man, God bless the team and everyone involved. It’s amazing the first things that were spoken were of Tool (music), wanting a beer, and wanting some of mom’s love. Followed by communicating with his family after a long time.