AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 2, 2020


Putting the Brain to Work

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Orthotic Device Uses Mind to Power Grip Strength, Boosting Independence


A new study presented this week found that a person with a spinal cord injury could improve their ability to grip and move household objects by using an electrical stimulation device controlled by their own thoughts. The study suggests that this new technology could one day allow people with disabilities to live more independently and enhance their quality of life.

People with tetraplegia have lost upper limb strength and dexterity, which has a severe impact on their independence and quality of life. New technology that connects a person’s brain to an implanted functional electrical stimulation orthotics device on their hands could restore manual dexterity and grip strength so they could perform simple daily tasks like holding a toothbrush without help.

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