Technological advancements could help people with paralysis

One of the most catastrophic injuries a person can suffer is a spinal cord injury that leaves them paralyzed. Being paralyzed from the waist, chest or neck down can dramatically change the types of things a person can and cannot do.

Over the years, however, companies and researchers have been looking for ways to improve the quality of life for people who have been paralyzed. Most recently, scientists in Australia have announced plans to begin human testing of a device being called “the bionic spine.”

According to reports, a small device will be implanted in three people’s brains. Once it is in place, the device will detect and then send signals to another device implanted in the person’s shoulder. That second device will translate the signal from the brain into a command for the patient’s bionic limbs, which will then move in accordance to the signal sent to the brain.

The device is intended to teach the brain a new way to talk to limbs, but according to researchers, the intent is that eventually, such efforts will be subconscious. 

Unfortunately, this technology and others like it are not yet available to the average person right here in Tennessee who has suffered a paralyzing injury. Because of this, people often to have to adjust their lifestyles to their condition and rely on the help of loved ones and medical professionals. This can mean not working, having live-in help and using other types of medical devices to communicate or get around.

Because of all the adjustments that need to be made, it can be crucial for people who are paralyzed to pursue the financial resources available to them. This may or may not include Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income. Discussing these and other options with an attorney is recommended.

Source: The Guardian, “‘Bionic spine’ could enable paralysed patients to walk using subconscious thought,” Melissa Davey, Feb. 8, 2016