There is a now a solution to a devastating problem that has not been able to be fixed for a very long time. There is a way that someone who is paralyzed may be able to move once again… It is called a neural bypass!
What is a neural bypass? A neural bypass is a new piece of technology that has been developed by scientists and engineers to overcome the issue of paralysis and its effects on certain parts of the body.
This piece of technology finds a way to get around the damaged part of the spinal cord and redirect the signals from the brain to the muscle.
The neural bypass system uses a brain implant that records the signals generated by the brain. Those signals are then decoded by a computer and are directed to an electronic sleeve that stimulates the muscle in the arm in precise patterns. This then allows you to be able to move your arm.
This piece of technology acts as an external nervous system. This “nervous system” then translates the signals fired within the brain to the desired paralysed part of the body when the person visualizes the movement being made.
To make the neural bypass work surgeons need to implant a special chip directly into the part of the brain responsible for movement. The chip can then acknowledge the signals within the brain but can’t act on it just yet, so we need to use an amplifier to increase the strength of the signals. They then need an advanced algorithm to be able to understand the signals in the brain and to examine the broad spectrum of data collected by the chip and separate the meaningful signals.
Now that we have the one part of the plan done which is being able to sort out signals we need a stimulator to convert the signals into specific muscle actions. The stimulator sends electrical impulses to electrodes attached to the body part using an intricate sleeve device with more than one hundred electrodes. The electrodes are used in different patterns to provoke different muscles to contract. When this system works together the patient is able to get the desired movement.
However there are currently a few limitations to this technology, you are only able to use the neural bypass in laboratories at the present moment. The system is not transferrable because there are many cables and with the amplifier, computer, processor and stimulator it would be large and unwieldly.
In the future neural bypasses will hopefully be approved to use on humans and that the bypass will not have to be adjusted every time it is in use because the brain is constantly thinking and changing the patterns in which the electrons fire because every time it may be different. In the future the system may become wireless allowing it to be easier to use.