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Nava R. Silton, Ph.D

Marymount Manhattan College
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A collection of stories, experiences and uplifting tales regarding the world of disabilities and the individuals who have them.

Doctors Restore Motion to a Paralyzed Hand

Nava Silton

A scientist in the U.K has made huge leaps for individuals who have lost the ability to use their upper limbs due to spinal cord damage. These scientists were able to restore hand motion in a pair of paralyzed marques monkeys. Medical science has already allowed individuals to gain back arm and leg motion as well as offer individuals the ability to move prosthetic arms with their own thoughts, but this is the first time a scientist has been able to restore not only feeling in a hand, but has restored the ability to grasp objects. Two doctors at Newcastle University led the experiment. The team temporarily paralyzed the monkeys and then implanted a connection between the brain and arm allowing neural signals to trigger the electrical impulses that move the hand, even while the animals were paralyzed. The team cautions that there is still some work to be done before this procedure can be attempted on humans. One of the leading doctors told the press that "I think within five years we could have an implant, which is ready for people. And what is exciting about this technology is that it would not only be useful for individuals with spinal injuries, but also for individuals who have suffered from a stroke and have impaired movement due to that." To watch a more in depth video on the experiment click here