Splashy Breakthroughs Are Exciting, But People with Spinal Cord Injuries Need More

May 24, 2024

A man fitting a prosthetic arm on another man.

(MIT Technology Review) – This week, I wrote about an external stimulator that delivers electrical pulses to the spine to help improve hand and arm function in people who are paralyzed. This isn’t a cure. In many cases the gains were relatively modest. One participant said it increased his typing speed from 23 words a minute to 35. Another participant was newly able to use scissors with his right hand. A third used her left hand to release a seatbelt.

The study didn’t garner as much media attention as previous, much smaller studies that focused on helping people with paralysis walk. Tech that allows people to type slightly faster or put their hair in a ponytail unaided just doesn’t have the same allure. (Read More)

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