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A man with ALS manages to post a tweet with his mind thanks to a brain implant

“Hello world! Short tweet. Monumental progress.” It is the tweet that Philip O’Keefe, a 62-year-old man with ALS, has managed to write with his mind, thanks to an implant that connects the brain to a computer. A technology that could also be used to treat Parkinson’s or epilepsy.

This Australian is the first person to post a tweet with the thought And it has done so through the account of the CEO of Synchron, the Australian company that has developed the device that makes it possible.

“It helps me in the short term, although it doesn’t give me enough control to do what I could do with my hands, but those who come after me will get that benefit,” says O’Keefe.

It is the beginning of great progress for ALS and Parkinson’s patients. Bruce Campbell from the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia notes that this is a pilot feasibility study: “We are verifying that this is safe and any benefit is a really good bonus,” he explains.

‘Stentrode’ is the name of the wireless device that transmits signals from the area of ​​the brain that controls movement of the body. According to the neurologist María Cruz Rodríguez, “it is a device that is inserted through a catheter through the femoral route, as catheterizations are done.”

Thus, patients with ALS or Parkinson’s will be able to control their arm or leg only with thoughts. According to the published brain stimulation trial, they could also even replace medications to treat certain types of epilepsy. “They teach the system what is the neuronal activity in the motor zone that is going to be the generator of a certain movement,” says Dr. Rodríguez.

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