Fully Implanted Brain-Computer Interface in a Locked-In Patient with ALS.

Vansteensel MJ
Pels EGM
Bleichner MG
Branco MP
Denison T
Freudenburg ZV
Gosselaar P
Leinders S
Ottens TH
Van Den Boom MA
Van Rijen PC
Aarnoutse EJ
Ramsey NF
Scientific Abstract

Options for people with severe paralysis who have lost the ability to communicate orally are limited. We describe a method for communication in a patient with late-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), involving a fully implanted brain-computer interface that consists of subdural electrodes placed over the motor cortex and a transmitter placed subcutaneously in the left side of the thorax. By attempting to move the hand on the side opposite the implanted electrodes, the patient accurately and independently controlled a computer typing program 28 weeks after electrode placement, at the equivalent of two letters per minute. The brain-computer interface offered autonomous communication that supplemented and at times supplanted the patient's eye-tracking device. (Funded by the Government of the Netherlands and the European Union; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02224469 .).


2016.N. Engl. J. Med., 375(21):2060-2066.

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