Artificial Intelligence may help Paralyzed Patients Regain Movement

Artificial Intelligence may help Paralyzed Patients Regain Movement

Intel and Brown University tied up to restore the patient's movement with the help of Artificial Intelligence. Brown University plans to develop an "intelligent spinal interface” to restore limb movement and bladder control for people with Spinal cord injuries that cause paralysis.

Brain's electrical commands cannot reach to the muscles once severe spinal injury occurs. According to the announcement, there are 291,000 people with spinal cord injuries in the United States as per the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates. With 30% of those result in complete tetraplegia or paraplegia.

Executive Opinions

Intel corporate Vice President and General Manager of the AI Products Group, Naveen Rao, said, "As a Ph.D. student at Brown, I investigated how to interface the brain with machines as an application. Now at Intel, we’re combining our AI expertise with Brown University’s cutting-edge medical research to help solve a critical medical problem: how to reconnect the brain and spine after a major spinal injury."

Assistant Professor of Engineering, Brown University, David Borton, said, "A spinal cord injury is devastating, and little is known about how remaining circuits around the injury may be leveraged to support rehabilitation and restoration of lost function. Listening for the first time to the spinal circuits around the injury and then taking action in real time with Intel’s combined AI hardware and software solutions will uncover new knowledge about the spinal cord and accelerate innovation toward new therapies."

Artificial Intelligence to restore Patient's Movement 

Brown University has received a grant of $6.3 million from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Rhode Island Hospital Surgeons plan to implant electrode arrays on both ends of a patient’s injury site. This will create an intelligent bypass to eventually allow the severed nerves to communicate in real-time, the announcement notes.

Researchers at Brown University will train the neural networks used in AI technology with the recorded data from the motor and sensory signals from the spinal cord. Researchers also plan to leverage Intel AI opensource software such as nGraph and Intel AI accelerator hardware.

The program will run for two years and the research team will work with Dr. Jared Fridley and the neurosurgery staff at Rhode Island Hospital. They plan to recruit volunteers with spinal cord injuries to be implanted with an experimental interface for a period of up to 29 days, says the announcement.


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Mandar is a seasoned software professional for more than a decade. He is Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech enthusiast. He writes to benefit others from his experiences. His overall goal is to help people learn about the Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech and the effects they will have economically and socially in the future.

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