Brain implant recovers motor function by boosting neuron communication

Randolph Nudo

University of Kansas researchers have developed a defibrillator-like brain implant designed to restore communication between neurons and recover motor skills in patients with stroke, traumatic injury or abnormal brain function. The cortex-planted device, powered by a battery, monitors signals in one part of the brain and sends them to another. Scaling the implant down to fit a rat brain, lead scientist Randolph Nudo and his team tested the animals on their ability to reach a food pellet through a small opening, requiring fine motor skills; with the device, the rats were much more successful. In part, the research is supported by the U.S. Department of Defense, which is interested in using the device to treat soldiers wounded overseas. Release

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