The participant, who had been paralysed from both legs (a condition called paraplegia) for five years, walked along a 3.66 metre long course using an electroencephalogram (EEG) based system.

Mental training was initially needed to reactivate the brain's walking ability."Even after years of paralysis, the brain can still generate robust brain waves that can be harnessed to enable basic walking," said An Do, one of the lead researchers from University of California-Irvine.

The system takes electrical signals from the participant's brain which then travel down to electrodes placed around his knees to create movement.

This is the first time that a person with complete paralysis in both legs was able to walk without relying on manually-controlled robotic limbs, as with previous walking aid devices."We showed that you can restore intuitive, brain-controlled walking after a complete spinal cord injury," Dr Do added.

The research was published in the open access Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation.


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