Brain-Computer Interfaces To Help A Paralyzed Person Walk Again…

Arqish Minhas
5 min readMay 16, 2020

Humans are undoubtedly the most complex creatures of this world. At the same time, we are also the most important and valued creatures as well. Every one of almost 8 billion people in this world operate and are very different from each other. We all have lots of things in common, and lots of things different. For starters, what makes us the most intelligent and unique species, is not only are we the final product of evolution, we also have a very unique brain which has the potential to do so much.

You can think of the brain as the control center of the body and it commands every move we make. Without our brain being able to send electrical impulses or in easy terms, signals to the rest of our body, our body can’t function or move. One thing you should know before we get into it is that every brain signal travels down through your spine into other parts of the body. The spine is a very important bone that runs down from your head to your lower back. Injuries in the spine can cause severe pain and life-threatening conditions including lifetime paralysis. Unfortunately, there is no cure or healing process of the spinal cord. It is a bone that can’t heal itself, unlike a broken arm. When people do get injured from a spinal injury, it can be devastating especially if they get paralysis. until recently, there was no cure for this type of injury and a spinal cord being injured just meant that you could never recover if you got paralysis.

Recently, there has been a new field in exploring the brain at a different level. This is a technology that is revolutionizing the world. It is called Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI). This technology allows you to measure brain waves and record them on a computer. After this, it also lets you transfer them to other people through electrodes and other electric devices like home appliances or even light bulbs! Yes, you can control someone’s arm (check out my other article on that), a light bulb, an oven, your A/C, and much more!

However, something special we can do is take brain waves and put them back in you through microchips. What we can do with this, is avoid sending brain signals from the spine, instead, we can send them through microchips. This technology is a breakthrough in uncovering the potential technology has on humans.

So, how does it work?

Well, we have 80 billion neurons in our brain which help spark signals and we also have nerve cells that help pass along those signals throughout the body. These nerve cells can about have the size of our body and they help carry those signals from the spine. These signals can pass at a speed of 540 kilometers a second. What a Brain-Computer Interface does, is it intakes those electric impulses by recording through close or direct contact with nerve impulses. When this impulse is detected, it gets transferred into computer code so it can be read by a computer. When we have these signals, we can rewire them and put those same impulses through a tens unit and electrodes or an invasive Bluetooth chip with a receiver. Once those signals pass to the receiver/other parts of the body, the brain can send signals to the body and move it on its own will while being in “paralysis”.

Can anyone use it?

Unfortunately, they are trying to perfect the product so no one can just find it and use it. Patients at universities are testing it out and it is working well, however, you have to be in a special room, and you are monitored. But with those centers and with further research on making it more efficient and portable to use anywhere, it can become available for the world pretty soon.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article! This is what is changing the world and we are all a part of making our dreams a reality with cool technologies like these! I was recently introduced to a quote that left me thinking and it was a huge eye-opener, as whatever the quote said, was true.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it”

— Abraham Lincoln

Something to leave your mind thinking. Just think about the impact this technology will have on the world and what we can achieve with the way we are excelling in these new technologies. Sooner or later we will find the cure for all types of cancer. People are already using Gene Editing to cut DNA that contains cancer or other diseases and we are on the verge of changing human history. As you look at the computer, phone, tablet, or anything you are using to see this article, just know that that device in your hand is the reason we can discover and make things like this happen. Look at your device as a game-changer in humanity.

Article Written By Arqish Minhas

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