Brain says 'Beer please!' Paralysed man conveys his thoughts over a microchip implant

FPJ Web DeskUpdated:Thursday, March 24, 2022, 01:23 PM IST
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Recently, a paralysed man was able to communicate with his family for the first time in years with the help of a microchip brain implant. The unidentified German patient who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2015, after years long managed to convey the need using his thoughts, reported Times Now.

“People have really doubted whether this was even feasible,” Mariska Vansteensel, a researcher at the University Medical Center Utrecht who was not involved in the study, told Science.org.

However, it is the first time a completely locked-in person – someone who is conscious and cognitively able but fully paralysed – was able to communicate in full sentences, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications this week.

"When the implanted electrodes in the man’s brain recorded an increase in activity, a computer would play a rising audio tone. A fall in brain activity would play a descending tone. Within two days, the man learned to control the frequency of the tone," researchers Ujwal Chaudhary and Niels Birbaumer were quoted in reports.

The unidentified German man, 36, was diagnosed with ALS which is a rare progressive nervous system disease that leads to the loss of muscle control. "Many times, I was with him until midnight or past midnight. The last word was always “beer”," said Chaudhary in a conversation with Reuters.

Researchers implanted two microchips in the man's brain [File: Emmanuel Foudrot/Reuters]

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