X-Message-Number: 25029
From: "The NanoAging Institute" <>
Subject: Implants that move in your brain
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 22:21:52 -0500

Implants that move in your brain

A DEVICE that automatically moves electrodes through the brain to seek out 
the strongest signals is taking the idea of neural implants to a new level. 
Scary as this sounds, its developers at the California Institute of 
Technology in Pasadena say devices like this will be essential if brain 
implants are ever going to be made to work. Implants could one day help 
people who are paralysed or unable to communicate because of spinal injury 
or conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). 
Electrodes implanted in the brain could, in principle, pick up neural 
signals and convey them to a prosthetic arm or a computer cursor. But there 
is a problem. Implanted electrodes are usually unable to sense consistent 
neuronal signals for more than a few months, according to Igor Fineman, a 
neurosurgeon at the Huntington Hospital, also in Pasadena.


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