A Stroke Paralyzed Her Arm. This Implant Let Her Use It Again
“This is very exciting,” says Jason Carmel, a motor system neuroscientist at Columbia University who wasn’t involved in the study. “It opens up a potential treatment avenue that we’ve never had before for people with chronic stroke.”
Stroke is the most common cause of disability in adults. Worldwide, one in four people over the age of 25 will suffer one in their lifetime, and three-quarters of them will have lasting motor deficits in their arm and hand.
A stroke happens when blood supply in the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel bursts. Depending on the severity of the brain damage and where it occurs, a stroke can cause certain impairments, such as paralysis, weakness, or problems with speaking, thinking, or memory.
People with paralysis from stroke can’t move a certain muscle or group of muscles voluntarily. When the part of the brain that controls movement is damaged, it disrupts the transmission of messages between the brain and the muscles. Patients who recover often do so within the first few months after a stroke. Beyond six months, there’s little…