Gans suggested other uses might involve industrial applications; neuroscientist Andrew Jackson of Newcastle University in England suggested it might be in rehabilitation for victims of less severe strokes.
At some point, Gans said, "It may even turn into something that allows a person with paralysis to go back to work, so it becomes a tool a vocational rehabilitation program could eventually endorse and support."
Dr. Preeti Raghavan, an expert in physical rehabilitation of the arms and hands at the New York University Langone Medical Center, noted that the cost of the technology would be weighed against the significant expense of caregiving for paralyzed people who can't do much on their own.
She said she expected that within a decade, many people may be using the technology to control their own limbs or robotic arms. Gans said that wider use of robotic arms might be feasible within five years, but that reactivating paralyzed limbs could be decades away.
Journal Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature
Research program: http://www.braingate2.org
___ Malcolm Ritter can be followed at http://www.twitter.com/malcolmritter
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.