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Austrian men become first in the world to have bionic hands

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By Euronews
Austrian men become first in the world to have bionic hands

A bionic hand, a groundbreaking operation and the power of thought. Three Austrian men have made medical history. They have been given robotic hands they control with their minds.

The innovative surgery has been detailed online in the medical journal The Lancet

Nerves and muscles were transplanted from their legs to their arms, and the men were then trained how to use their brains to send signals through the muscles and nerves to their new hands.

“The decision to let go of his own hand is definitely not an easy one. Why? Because the patient still has a hand. But you must not forget that these patients have lived without hand function for about ten, 15 years and they know what it means to live without hands,” explained Professor Oskar Aszmann.

The operations were notable too because the hand is a part of the body which comprises highly intricate muscles and needs a complex network of nerves to actually function. For one of the men it has been a revelation.

“It was something completely new. I had not been able to grasp anything since 2001, to use my right hand. And then, it all worked perfectly. I really settled well into life with my new hand, it has become part of me and I could not live without it anymore,” said Milorad Marinkovic who received a bionic hand.

Previously people with bionic hands have had to control them with manual settings, now the power of the mind could be set to take over.