A new brain implant developed by researchers at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research has been able to restore the sense of touch to the fingertips of the hands in people with peripheral neuropathy.
It is a disease that affects millions, and as a result of which the upper extremities are unable to perform fine motor tasks, maintain balance, walk or feel the touch of the fingertips.
The revolutionary brain implant restores touch using a minimally invasive electrode using stereo encephalography. It is a surgical method with which electrodes are placed in specific areas of the brain. In this case, in the right hemisphere.
The study, published in the journal Brain Stimulation, reveals that the authors managed to get two people with intractable epilepsy to experience sensations in the fingertips of their hands. Both patients were already undergoing a preoperative control to be treated surgically for their disease.
When the electrodes were activated, these two people felt “tingling” and “electricity” in their hands and pads. The research “indicates that bioelectronic medicine and neurosurgery could restore previously lost functions,” said Kevin J. Tracey, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes.