Paraplegics regain partial use of their legs thanks to AI-enhanced electronic implants

It is very rare that we can speak of a real “revolution” in the technological field. New hardware is generally only an update or “++” evolution of already existing hardware. This being said, what the team of Grégoire Courtine’s team from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) has just achieved is indeed a revolution in the full sense of the term, a revolution that is all the more useful that it has a good chance of changing the lives of thousands of severely disabled people in the medium term.

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The EPFL research team has in fact succeeded in giving partial use of their legs to three paraplegics thanks to electronic nerve implants doped with artificial intelligence! Initially, it was necessary to create a predictive model of the functioning of the spinal cord of a human being. This extremely complex system could be “modeled” thanks to an AI technology of the type machine learning. Once this detailed and calibrated “map” was obtained for each of the paraplegics, the surgeons were able to place the numerous electrodes necessary for the proper communication of nerve impulses on the patient’s leg and on their spinal cord, which guarantee the complete movement of the leg. , from the decision-making brain to the trunk and down to the muscles of the lower limbs!

Very shortly after the operation, the three patients already recovered part of the mobility of their legs. After just a few days, they could walk again (with a support device, however), hold their balance, even pedal a bicycle! The patient we follow on the video (above) manages to walk almost a kilometer a day and believes that this is still only the beginning. We note that the seriousness of the work and the study published by Grégoire Courtine’s team has been widely welcomed by several representatives of the scientific community, and has even convinced the American administration to start clinical trials in certain American hospitals. Revolutionary we tell you!

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