Paralyzed May Soon Steer Wheelchair With Just a Sniff - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Paralyzed May Soon Steer Wheelchair With Just a Sniff

MSNBC.COM - A device that detects the subtle movements needed to sniff air through the nose or mouth can steer a wheelchair or allow completely paralyzed people to type messages, Israeli researchers reported Monday.

One patient wrote letters to her family for the first time since she had a stroke, while others used the device to surf the Internet or steer a wheelchair.

While no replacement for a true brain implant that would allow users to control devices with thoughts alone, the "sniff controller" works better for many patients than eyeblinks or other methods of communicating, the researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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