The Man with the Bionic Brain: And Other Victories over Paralysis

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Overview

After he was stabbed and became paralyzed from the neck down, Matthew Nagle, a former high school football star, made scientific history when neurosurgeons implanted microelectrodes in his brain that recognized his thought patterns, allowing him to control a computer cursor. With the BrainGate system, Matt was able to use e-mail, manipulate a prosthetic hand, adjust TV settings, and play video games—all just by thinking about performing these tasks.

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Overview

After he was stabbed and became paralyzed from the neck down, Matthew Nagle, a former high school football star, made scientific history when neurosurgeons implanted microelectrodes in his brain that recognized his thought patterns, allowing him to control a computer cursor. With the BrainGate system, Matt was able to use e-mail, manipulate a prosthetic hand, adjust TV settings, and play video games—all just by thinking about performing these tasks.

In The Man with the Bionic Brain and Other Victories over Paralysis, Dr. Jon Mukand, Matt’s research physician and a rehabilitation specialist, weaves together his story with firsthand accounts of other courageous survivors of stroke, spinal injuries, and brain trauma and the amazing technology that has improved their lives.

A behind-the-scenes view of cutting-edge medical research and discoveries, The Man with the Bionic Brain and Other Victories over Paralysis is an insightful and inspirational book about how biomedicine gives hope to people with disabilities and enables them to take control of their futures.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
When a knife severed his spinal cord, Matthew Nagle was instantly transformed from an active young man to an individual who could neither feel nor move below his upper shoulders and who was dependent on a machine for every breath and on others for help with every bodily function. Rehabilitation medicine specialist Mukand (medical director, Southern New England Rehabilitation Ctr.; editor, Vital Lines: Contemporary Fiction About Medicine) tells Nagle's story unflinchingly, showing the injury's brutal physical and emotional impact on Nagle and everyone in his life, but also in a way that will move readers. Mukand worked with Nagle as he became a research recipient of BrainGate, a device implanted in his brain that recorded brain waves and eventually allowed him to gain some control over a computer cursor and a robotic hand. VERDICT This should appeal to general readers, who will find a well-written and moving human story alongside clear, well-explained examples of the latest developments in this medical technology.—Dick Maxwell, Porter Adventist Hosp. Lib., Denver
The Washington Post
Mukand's lucid, clear prose distills complex neuroscience in a way that is as easy to follow as an episode of ER. His book holds out the possibility of self-reliance for people imprisoned in broken bodies.
—Timothy R. Smith
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781613740552
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2012
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,344,911
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Mukand, MD, PhD, is a rehabilitation medicine specialist and the medical director of the Southern New England Rehabilitation Center. He serves on the clinical faculty of Brown University and Tufts University. Mukand earned his MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin, his MA in English and creative writing from Stanford University, and his PhD in English literature from Brown. He is the editor of Vital Lines: Contemporary Fiction about Medicine, Articulations: The Body and Illness in Poetry, and Rehabilitation for Patients with HIV Disease.

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Table of Contents

Prologue ix

1 At the Gateway to the Brain

Matt, June 22, 2004 3

2 The Hunting Knife at the Beach Party

Matt, July 3 to 15, 2001 11

3 Stairway to Recovery

Anna lacono 31

4 Alive in the Electric Chair

Matt, July to September 2001 47

5 Parade with the Patriots

Matt, Late 2001 to Early 2002 69

6 Riding with an Electric Leg

Patricia Wines 87

7 Mt. Sinai's Medical Commandments and the Wheelchair Superman

Matt, Late 2002 to 2003 101

8 Monkeys Playing Video Games

Brain Gate, Late 2003 121

9 A Walk Around the Lake

Linda Holmes 133

10 Navigating a Study Through Two Research Review Boards

Brain Gate and Cybernetics, December 2003 to Early 2004 143

11 Play It Again

Kathy Spencer 161

12 The Antiseptic Baptism and the Neurosurgeon's Gift

Matt, May to June 2004 175

13 Wired, Connected, and Waiting for Signals

Matt, June to December 2004 197

14 Skating Away from a Stroke

Garrett Mendez 221

15 The Bionic Man

Matt, 2005 239

16 Imagining a God

Matt, 2006 263

17 A Starship Trooper's Electronic Suit

Floyd Morrow 275

18 In Flight

Matt, Early 2007 285

19 Aflame in Red Chrysanthemums

Matt, July 2007 301

20 Passing the Baton in the Race with Paralysis 309

Epilogue 313

Acknowledgments 325

Notes 330

Index 339

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    I have a personal interest in this book. My son Garrett's story

    I have a personal interest in this book. My son Garrett's story is featured in chapter 14. At 19 years old Garrett suffered a massive brain stem stroke as a result of a hockey injury. Our family has spent that last seven years focused on his recovery and rehabilitation. His continued recovery has been nothing short of miraculous. The Man with the Bionic Brain is a book about hope, about not giving up, about always looking forward, not backwards. It is a story of an incredible journey by Matt who refused to settle for a life confined and kept searching for something that would help him even a little bit, make his life a littler easier, a little better. Dr Mukand portrays his story with compassion and shows the amazing strength of Matt and his entire family. As a parent who faced many difficult decisions with my own child, I don't know if I would been able to allow my son to be the subject of the first human trial for braingate. It took such courage, not knowing what the outcome would be. It is because of pioneers like Matt that new technology is developed that in the future will touch and help so many others. This book explores new, cutting edge technology with real stories and shows how new developments are helping people to reclaim their lives. The Man with the Bionic Brain shows us the future of rehabilitation. I always tell Garrett that how is he today is not how he will be ten years from now. His future holds so many possibilities. He has never been and never will be a "victim", he has always been an survivor. This is an amazing story about Matt, an amazing young man and his fight to reclaim his life. This book confirms that nothing in life is impossible.

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