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Patients who are 'locked-in' with no control of their body have finally been able to communicate.
Scientists used a brain-computer interface to read the thoughts of patients through basic yes or no questions.
Four patients in Switzerland, all with advanced forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, were studied as their brain has lost the ability to control muscles.
The condition essentially traps the patient in their body leaving them unable to communicate through moving or talking.
Rachel Rees, personal injury solicitor and Partner at PotterReesDolan, said:
This fascinating research could well be applied in future to help brain injury survivors with long-term disorders of consciousness communicate, which would be an amazing step forward for them and their families who so desperately want to be able to connect with their loved ones
The patients are able to think but as they are unable to move, reading their thoughts is a massive achievement.
Scientists used light to detect the colour of the patients' blood through 'near-infrared spectroscopy to ask the patients questions.