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Progress for Paralyzed Patients: First Implanted Device is Placed to Restore Arm, Hand and Finger Movement - Dr. Osborn Featured in Fox News

Onward, a medical technology company in the Netherlands, successfully placed the implant in a 46-year-old paralyzed man By Melissa Rudy . Fox News

Published September 28, 2023 5:25am EDT

A groundbreaking achievement occurred as a Netherlands based medical technology company, Onward Medical NV, designed a device to be surgically implanted into a 46-year-old man who became paralyzed on his left side of his body after suffering from a spinal cord injury two years ago. The man was the first patient to receive the ARC-IM Stimulator, a device aimed to restore upper body function in areas such as the arms, hands and fingers.

The successful surgery, completed at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) in Lausanne, Switzerland, resulted in a total of 32 electrodes linked to two different pacemakers to be placed over the man’s cervical spinal cord, including two neurostimulators to produce electricity and send signals to the spinal cord to activate the muscles of the arm using. A wireless brain-computer interface (BCI) using artificial intelligence to connect the brain and the spinal cord to help enable movement was implanted in a follow-up procedure to work together with the stimulator. Dr. Brett Osborn of Senolytix told Fox News how most spinal injuries are due to trauma where a section of the spinal cord is injured or severed, resulting in neurologic problems at and below the level of the injury.

"The spinal cord is mostly a bundle of nerve fibers that descend from the brain like wires," he said. "If you cut or damage the cables, everything below the injury malfunctions. In a human, this manifests as weakness or paralysis."Osborne explained how Onward’s technology aims to reestablish the connection between the brain and the nerve roots, bypassing or bridging the level of the spinal cord injury.

"The wiring is not being repaired — that’s many years in the future. But this is a fancy workaround utilizing state-of-the-art implant technology and AI," he said."AI is our friend here — without which spinal cord-injured patients have little hope. After all, our nervous system is the most complex object in the universe."

Onward’s innovative technology is still experimental with years of large-scale clinical trials to be completed before the technology is widely available.

This article was originally published by Fox News and written by Melissa Rudy.

To learn about longevity medicine and Dr. Osborn’s practice, click here.