Science: What if?

It’s always a bad idea to get too far ahead where medical research is concerned, but it’s hard not to play “what if” with a science story being reported now.

Researchers have found monkeys, taught to play a computer game, can regain use of paralyzed muscles and even learned to use muscles that previously had nothing to do with wrist movement.

The significance? According to the Associated Press:


Remarkably, the monkeys regained use of paralyzed muscles by learning to control the activity of just a single brain cell.

The result is “an important step forward,” said Dawn Taylor of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, who studies the concept of using brain signals to overcome paralysis. She wasn’t involved in the new work.

  • sm

    This sounds like it could also help people with arthritis regain use of frozen fingers. At least the monkeys weren’t permanently maimed. I hope.