Thursday, 17 Oct 2019

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Paralysed man moves in mind-reading exoskeleton

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Health Desk- 05 Oct 2019: A man has been able to move all four of his paralysed limbs with a mind-controlled exoskeleton suit, French researchers report.

Thibault, 30, said taking his first steps in the suit felt like being the "first man on the Moon".

His movements, particularly walking, are far from perfect and the robo-suit is being used only in the lab.

But researchers say the approach could one day improve patients' quality of life.

Thibault had surgery to place two implants on the surface of the brain, covering the parts of the brain that control movement

The injury to his spinal cord left him paralysed and he spent the next two years in hospital.

But in 2017, he took part in the exoskeleton trial with Clinatec and the University of Grenoble.

Initially he practised using the brain implants to control a virtual character, or avatar, in a computer game, then he moved on to walking in the suit.

"It was like [being the] first man on the Moon. I didn't walk for two years. I forgot what it is to stand, I forgot I was taller than a lot of people in the room," he said.

It took a lot longer to learn how to control the arms.

Courtesy: BBC Health