They return the ability to speak to patients who have suffered a stroke through brain electrodes

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Talk again. It gets closer every time The pill’ that I would be able to return the ability of natural communication to patients suffering from the sequelae of neurological disorders. People who suffer the deterioration of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or stroke, among other cerebrovascular accidents; In short, a cerebral palsy that prevents the sending of orders from this organ to those responsible for the execution of speech, such as the muscles of the lips, tongue, larynx and jaw.

Two parallel articles in Nature of two women with different pathologies, ALS and the sequelae of a stroke, highlight key advances in the recovery of communication through two different systems with the same goal: restore speech function thanks to a system that translates brain signals that muscles cannot execute.

Through both works, a proof of concept is successfully validated, for which there is still a lot of work ahead until a more massive availability. “There is an urgent need to help people with neurological conditions who deprive them of the universal human need to communicate“, explain Nick Ramsey and Nathan Crone, in an article attached to the main one in Nature. “The two papers constitute crucial proof of concept that communication can be restored using implantable BCIs, but several issues require further investigation to allow for wider dissemination.

Pat Bennett ten four sensors implanted about the size of baby aspirin. The devices transmit signals from a pair of speech-related regions in Bennett’s brain to and software state-of-the-art that decodes your brain activity and converts it to text that is displayed on a computer screen. “These initial results have validated the concept, and eventually the technology will catch up to make it easily accessible to people who cannot speak,” Bennett explains in a university news release. “This means that we can stay connected to the world in general, maybe continue to work, maintain relationships with family and friends.”

This has been possible thanks to the investigations of the team of Francis Willettfrom Stanford University, who has developed a BCI (or brain-computer interfaces) that collects the neural activity of individual cells with a series of fine electrodes inserted into the brain and trained una red neuronal artificial to decode the predicted vocalizations. “This system is trained to know which words should come before others and which phonemes form which words,” Willett explains in the institutional statement. “If some phonemes were interpreted incorrectly, an optimal guess can still be made.”

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