For financial reasons, Cyberkinetics stopped funding the trial and withdrew from the research. Cyberkinetics had launched in 2001, based on research and technology developed in Donoghue's lab.
The clinical research continues through this multidisciplinary, multi-institutional effort. A new academically based Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) application BrainGate2 was developed in 2008 to follow up on research previously published in peer-reviewed journals. Hochberg will direct the BrainGate2 clinical trials through MGH in close collaboration with researchers at Brown University and Providence VA Medical Center.
The BrainGate2 trials will expand on previous research, honing the hardware and software that decode the brain signals used to move a cursor on a screen. The IDE is part of a larger research effort, the goals of which include developing point-and-click capabilities on a computer screen, controlling a prosthetic limb or a robotic arm, controlling functional electrical stimulation (FES) of nerves disconnected from the brain due to paralysis, and further expanding the neuroscience underlying the field of intracortical neurotechnology. The research is focused not only on the ability to operate a computer but also to assist people with ALS, spinal cord injury and brainstem stroke to control their environment.
"Through ongoing development and testing, it is hoped that these technologies will eventually help to improve the communication, mobility and independence of people with severe paralysis," Hochberg said.
People with these types of paralysis have at least two characteristics in common: a brain that is capable of directing movement and a body that fails to respond. Beyond the current clinical trial, the ultimate goal of the BrainGate research effort is to provide a new pathway for brain signals to control ex
|Contact: Mark Hollmer|