A remarkable breakthrough in brain technology has enabled a man who was paralyzed in a bicycle accident over a decade ago to regain the ability to stand and walk naturally, making it a wonderful day for health tech.
The innovative “wireless digital bridge,” developed by neuroscientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, has successfully restored the connection between the brain and spine of Gert-Jan Oskam—a 40-year-old engineer from the Netherlands.
Gert-Jan experienced a life-changing accident while living and working in China in 2011, resulting in the loss of leg movement.
Thanks to this incredible brain-spine interface, he can now control the movement of his legs again, allowing him to stand, walk, and even climb stairs.
What’s even more astonishing is that this breakthrough in health technology has also helped him recover some of the brain function he had lost since the accident.
Even when the digital bridge is turned off, he can still exhibit motor skills.
To implement this technology, Mr. Oskam underwent two surgeries to implant electrodes in his brain and spine.
These electrodes, combined with artificial intelligence, allow his thoughts of movement to be converted into actions, re-establishing the communication between the disconnected regions of the central nervous system involved in walking.
This remarkable achievement raises hope for restoring lost nerve function in others with similar conditions, making it an inspiring breakthrough that offers hope for many others facing similar challenges.
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