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A paralyzed man has regained the ability to walk thanks to artificial intelligence-powered implants that re-established communication between the brain and spinal cord, researchers said.
Oskam, a 40-year-old Dutchman, was left paralyzed following a cycling accident 12 years ago. He lost full use of his legs and partial use of his arms due to damage to the spinal cord in his neck.
The device that has allowed him to walk is the result of a decade of research, building on the work of French neuroscientist Grégoire Courtine. The research, combined with cutting-edge technology and intensive training, can stimulate the lower spine and help someone with a spinal cord injury walk again, according to the science journal Nature.
Gert-Jan Oskam commented, “Now I can just do what I want – when I decide to make a step the stimulation will kick in as soon as I think about it,” adding that he now has “freedom that I did not have” and that between the surgeries and therapy, it has been “a long journey to get here.”
Fox News further reported:
The final jump that brought the whole project together, designed by France’s Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), involved a new brain-computer interface, which doctors can implant into the brain and at the base of the spinal column to create a “digital bridge.”
The interface uses AI-powered algorithms to decode brain recordings in real-time and allow the computer to determine how the patient wants to move their legs, according to France 24.
The double surgeries have now allowed Oskam to walk and resume activities he once thought impossible for a man in his condition.
He said, “This simple pleasure represents a significant change in my life.”
Reuters tweeted Thursday, “‘Within five to ten minutes I could control my hips’: Gert-Jan Oskam, who was paralyzed after a cycling accident, said he is able to walk again with the help of a new medical device that connects his brain and spinal cord using a ‘digital bridge’”
‘Within five to ten minutes I could control my hips’: Gert-Jan Oskam, who was paralyzed after a cycling accident, said he is able to walk again with the help of a new medical device that connects his brain and spinal cord using a ‘digital bridge’ pic.twitter.com/M5TuT2sluh
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 26, 2023
CGTN Europe wrote, “Gert-Jan Oskam was paralyzed 12 years ago – but now he can walk. How?”
Gert-Jan Oskam was paralyzed 12 years ago – but now he can walk. How? pic.twitter.com/jp72gl6GZY
— CGTN Europe (@CGTNEurope) May 25, 2023
i newspaper tweeted, “Meet Gert-Jan Oskam – he was paralysed more than a decade ago but has regained the ability to stand and walk naturally It’s thanks to a new AI system that reads his thoughts and wirelessly connects his brain and legs. ‘For the first time after 10 years I was able to stand up and have a beer with some of my friends, so that was pretty cool,’ said Gert-Jan Oskam, 40.”
💬 “For the first time after 10 years I was able to stand up and have a beer with some of my friends, so that was pretty cool,” said Gert-Jan Oskam, 40https://t.co/4BJZZGs3wK
— i newspaper (@theipaper) May 24, 2023
Paralyzed man regains this ‘simple pleasure’ thanks to AI ‘digital bridge’ https://t.co/rwUhzeL710
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 25, 2023
To get more information about this article, please visit Fox News.
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If only these amazing inventions would be used only for good but it never works that way.
Congratulations a true miracle 👍
He thinks and the machine kicks in? Sounds scary. What if he is standing on a ledge and just thinks what it would be like to jump?
This is great. The only positive I have heard with AI. If it is used for cases like this it will be great but all that has been positive before this was extremely dangerous. Awesome.