After obtaining microchip implants in his Brain, a fully paralyzed man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can now converse with his family. According to a study published this week in the journal Nature Communications, it is the first time an utterly locked-in person, conscious and intellectually able but utterly paralyzed – has been able to communicate in whole sentences.
In 2015, the 36-year-old German man was diagnosed with ALS, a rare degenerative neurological system illness that causes muscle control loss. When a person living with ALS cannot talk, eye-tracking technology can be used to choose letters on a screen. They can respond to yes or no questions with tiny eye movements as the disease progresses.
The researchers added that within two days, the man learned to control the tone’s frequency. Before his condition progressed, family members would hold up a grid of letters against a background of four colors. Family members would point to each color section and row and interpret any eye movement as a “yes.” The researchers introduced software to mimic this technique. The man would hear the words of a color.