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April 14 2013

Paralyzed Monkey Controls Arm Via Brain

A monkey partially paralyzed by a spinal cord injury was able to control its arm using an external link between its brain and spinal cord, a new study shows.

Even after a spinal cord injury or stroke, the nervous system wiring above and below the injury can remain intact. With that in mind, researchers created an artificial electrical connection between the injured monkey's brain and an area below the damaged part of its spinal cord. This allowed the animal to send neural signals to its spinal cord to engage its arm muscles. The findings were detailed online Thursday (April 11) in the journal Frontiers in Neural Circuits.

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