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