For the past eight years, Bill Kochevar hasn’t even been able to take a drink of water without help. Now, thanks to a sensor in his brain, he’s become the first paralyzed person in the world to move his arm just by thinking about it.
Kochevar was paralyzed from the shoulders down after crashing into a mail truck while biking. By placing sensors in his brain that connect to electrodes in his arm, scientists are helping restore movement to his right arm and hand. By simply thinking about a task, Kochevar has been able to drink water, snack on pretzels, and even enjoy a bowl of mashed potatoes all on his own.
It’s a massive achievement for Kochevar and science, but researchers at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine say they’ve only scratched the surface. In the future, they hope that these types of treatments will become routine for anyone who suffers from paralysis.