Thought walking after spinal cord injury

A wireless digital bridge between the brain and nervous system allows a paralyzed XNUMX-year-old to move on his own two feet

Walking thanks to thought: Gert-Jan Oskam, who was paralyzed in the lower limbs following a bicycle accident and who has started walking again thanks to a digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord, at the University of Lausanne
Gert-Jan Oskam, who was paralyzed in his lower limbs following a bicycle accident and who can walk again thanks to a digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord, at the University of Lausanne

Neuroscientists and neurosurgeons from a French-Swiss research partnership have detailed in an article in the journal “Nature” how they managed to re-establish communication between the brain and spinal cord thanks to a wireless digital bridge, allowing a paralyzed person to walk naturally again.

The article “Walking naturally after spinal cord injury using a brain-spine interface” published by “Nature” (in English)
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Walking thanks to thought: the press conference on 24 May 2023 in Lausanne to present the effective wireless interface between the brain and spinal cord called BCI and tested on the plaraplegic Gert-Jan Oskam in the presence of scientists Grégoire Courtine, Jocelyne
The press conference on 24 May 2023 in Lausanne to present the effective wireless interface between the brain and the spinal cord called BCI and tested on the plaraplegic Gert-Jan Oskam in the presence of scientists Grégoire Courtine, Jocelyne Bloch and Guillaume Charvet

Grégoire Courtine: “Used a wireless interface between the brain and spinal cord called BCI”

“We created a wireless interface between the brain and spinal cord using a brain-computer interface technology called BCI, which turns thought into action”, summarizes Grégoire Courtine, professor of neuroscience in Switzerland al Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne, Vaud University Hospital Center andUniversity of Lausannea.
Published in the journal "Nature", the article titled in English “Walking naturally after spinal cord injury using a brain-spine interface” presents the situation of Gert-Jan Oskam.

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Walking thanks to thought: Gert-Jan Oskam, who was paralyzed in the lower limbs following a bicycle accident and who has started walking again thanks to a digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord, at the Center Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois
Gert-Jan Oskam, who was paralyzed in the lower limbs following a bicycle accident and who has started walking again thanks to a digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord, at the Center Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois

Gert-Jan Oskam is a forty-year-old man immobilized following a bicycle accident

It is a forty-year-old man who suffered a spinal cord injury following a bicycle accident that left him paralysed.
Il digital bridge it allowed him to regain natural control over the movement of his paralyzed legs, enabling him to stand, walk, and even climb stairs.
Gert-Jan explains that she has recovered the pleasure of being able to share a beer standing at the bar with friends: “This simple pleasure represents a significant change in my life.”
It is a digital bridge involving two electronic implants: one on the brain, the other on the spinal cord.
Two types of electronic implants are required to create this digital bridge.

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Walking thanks to thought: The .NeuroRestore center is led by Grégoire Courtine, neuroscientist at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, and by Jocelyne Bloch, neurosurgeon at the University Hospital of Lausanne and the University of Lausanne.
The .NeuroRestore center is led by Grégoire Courtine, a neuroscientist at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, and by Jocelyne Bloch, a neurosurgeon at the University Hospital of Lausanne and the University of Lausanne.

Jocelyne Bloch: “An array of electrodes above the medulla that controls leg movement…”

The neurosurgeon Jocelyn Bloch, professor at CHUV, UNIL and EPFL, explains that "We implanted the WImage devices over the brain region responsible for controlling leg movements."
And yet: “These devices developed by the CEA make it possible to decode the electrical signals generated by the brain when we think we are walking. We also placed a neurostimulator attached to an electrode array over the region of the spinal cord that controls leg movement."

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Walking thanks to thought: the press conference on 24 May 2023 in Lausanne to present the effective wireless interface between the brain and spinal cord called BCI and tested on the plaraplegic Gert-Jan Oskam in the presence of scientists Grégoire Courtine, Jocelyne
The press conference on 24 May 2023 in Lausanne to present the effective wireless interface between the brain and the spinal cord called BCI and tested on the plaraplegic Gert-Jan Oskam in the presence of scientists Grégoire Courtine, Jocelyne Bloch and Guillaume Charvet

Guillaume Charvet: “All thanks to algorithms based on adaptive artificial intelligence methods”

Guillaume Charvet, BCI program manager at the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies, adds: “Thanks to algorithms based on methods of adaptive artificial intelligencemovement intentions are decoded in real time from brain recordings.”
These intentions are then converted into electrical stimulation sequences of the spinal cord, which in turn activate the leg muscles to achieve the desired movement.
The digital bridge works wirelessly, allowing the patient to move independently.

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Walking thanks to thought: Gert-Jan Oskam, who was paralyzed in the lower limbs following a bicycle accident and who has started walking again thanks to a digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord, at the Federal Polytechnic University of Lausanne
Gert-Jan Oskam, who was paralyzed in the lower limbs following a bicycle accident and who has started walking again thanks to a digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord, at the Federal Polytechnic University of Lausanne

A recovery through regenerated neurological functions even when the digital bridge is off

Rehabilitation supported by the digital bridge has allowed Gert-Jan Oskam to recover the neurological functions that he had lost after the accident.
The researchers were able to quantify significant improvements in sensory perceptions and fine motor skills, and this even when the digital bridge was off.
This digital spinal cord repair suggests that new nerve connections have developed.
At the moment, the computer bridge has only been tested on one person.
Jocelyne Bloch and Grégoire Courtine also explain that in the future a similar strategy could be used to restore arm and hand function.
They add that the digital bridge could also be applied to other clinical indications, such as paralysis due to stroke.
ONWARD Medical, together with CEA and EPFL, has received support from the European Union through the European Innovation Council (EIC) to develop a commercial version of the digital bridge, with the aim of making the technology available worldwide.

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Walking thanks to thought: the press conference on 24 May 2023 in Lausanne to present the effective wireless interface between the brain and spinal cord called BCI and tested on the plaraplegic Gert-Jan Oskam in the presence of scientists Grégoire Courtine, Jocelyne
The press conference on 24 May 2023 in Lausanne to present the effective wireless interface between the brain and the spinal cord called BCI and tested on the plaraplegic Gert-Jan Oskam in the presence of scientists Grégoire Courtine, Jocelyne Bloch and Guillaume Charvet

Since 2018 .Neurorestore for neurotherapies that help patients recover motor function

.NeuroRestore is a research and development platform based in French-speaking Switzerland that develops neurosurgical approaches for the restoration of neurological function in people suffering from paraplegia, tetraplegia, Parkinson's disease or the consequences of stroke.
The center is led by Grégoire Courtine, a neuroscientist at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, and by Jocelyne Bloch, a neurosurgeon at the University Hospital of Lausanne and the University of Lausanne.
.NeuroRestore, born in 2018, brings together engineers, doctors and scientists from EPFL, CHUV and UNIL, with the support of the Defitech Foundation.
It uses these common skills to develop neurotherapies that can help patients regain motor function.
Its innovative and personalized treatments are tested through research protocols and then made available to hospitals and patients.
.NeuroRestore is also committed to educating the next generation of healthcare professionals and engineers in the use of these new therapeutic approaches.

A drill with an “intelligent” tip so as not to irritate human nerves

Walking thanks to thought: Gert-Jan Oskam, paralyzed in the lower limbs following a bicycle accident, has started walking again thanks to a digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord
Gert-Jan Oskam, who was paralyzed in the lower limbs following a bicycle accident, has started walking again thanks to a digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord

Clinatec's great contribution to define, develop and validate medical devices

The Edmond J. Safra Clinatec Biomedical Research Center combines medical research programs and technological innovation in the same place to provide new solutions to patients.
Clinatec's activities are supported in France by a partnership between the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique et Aux Énergies Alternatives,Grenoble Alpes University Hospital (CHUGA), theGrenoble Alpes University (UGA) and the Clinatec Endowment Fund.
Clinatec's mission is to define, develop and perform clinical validation of innovative medical devices based on medical needs and using state-of-the-art technologies.
These missions are carried out by a multidisciplinary team made up of mathematicians, physicists, electronic engineers, computer scientists, biologists, doctors and healthcare personnel.

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Gert-Jan Oskam can walk thanks to a digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord

The words of Gert-Jan Oskam, whose legs have been restored by technology after paralysis

Walking thanks to thought: The .NeuroRestore center is led by Grégoire Courtine, neuroscientist at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, and by Jocelyne Bloch, neurosurgeon at the University Hospital of Lausanne and the University of Lausanne.
The .NeuroRestore center is led by Grégoire Courtine, a neuroscientist at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, and by Jocelyne Bloch, a neurosurgeon at the University Hospital of Lausanne and the University of Lausanne.