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With improvements, researchers hope the system will eventually aid the everyday lives of people like Burkhart with spinal cord injuries, and perhaps others with stroke or traumatic brain injury.Burkhart's case is described in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature. It's the latest report from research that has let paralyzed people operate robotic arms, computers and other devices with signals picked up by brain implants, or regain use of paralyzed muscles by sending signals from other muscles they still control.Chet Moritz of the University of Washington called the findings exciting. Direct stimulation of muscles can quickly lead to fatigue, he noted, but that might be avoided by stimulating the spinal cord to move the muscles instead.Peckham said many paralysis patients are already doing "impressively well" at home with a system that lets them stimulate hand movements with signals generated by other muscles. But the brain implant approach could be useful for people with more severe injuries who can't control those other muscles, or who need a more complex signal to make particular movements, he said.
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