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The brain receives input from all the senses and can transmit signals to the spinal cord for the execution of body movements. However, injury or disease can deprive the brain of sensory input or can interrupt output pathways, resulting in motor paralysis. The field of neural prosthetics aims to restore motor or sensory function through output and input pathways other than the brain's normal channels.

Brain stem strokes and diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), can lead to the most severe form of paralysis, as patients can lose all movement ability and become “locked in.” Cervical spinal cord injuries (at the neck) also disrupt communication channels between the brain and spinal cord and can lead to quadriplegia (paralysis of all four limbs). ...

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