Fully implanted brain-computer interface in a locked-in patient with ALS

Mariska J. Vansteensel, Elmar G M Pels, Martin G. Bleichner, Mariana P. Branco, Timothy Denison, Zachary V. Freudenburg, Peter Gosselaar, Sacha Leinders, Thomas H. Ottens, Max A. Van Den Boom, Peter C. Van Rijen, Erik J. Aarnoutse, Nick F. Ramsey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Options for people with severe paralysis who have lost the ability to communicate orally are limited. We describe a method for communication in a patient with late-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), involving a fully implanted brain-computer interface that consists of subdural electrodes placed over the motor cortex and a transmitter placed subcutaneously in the left side of the thorax. By attempting to move the hand on the side opposite the implanted electrodes, the patient accurately and independently controlled a computer typing program 28 weeks after electrode placement, at the equivalent of two letters per minute. The brain-computer interface offered autonomous communication that supplemented and at times supplanted the patient's eye-tracking device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2060-2066
Number of pages7
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2016


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