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Can Stephen Hawking move

Updated: 5/24/2024
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12y ago

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In the early 2000's, Professor Hawking was able to use his thumbs to click on a binary switch and communicate with his custom computer, donated by Intel Corporation. Over the years, as his disease has progressed, he has lost the ability to use any of his fingers, and now communicated with the computer via a light sensor which detects movements of his cheek muscle.

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12y ago
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2mo ago

Stephen Hawking was unable to move due to his long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease that gradually paralyzed him. He relied on a wheelchair and a computer-based communication system to communicate and interact with the world around him.

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14y ago

Stephen Hawking is severely disabled by motor neuron disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS). Hawking's illness is markedly different from typical ALS in the fact that his form of ALS would make for the most protracted case ever documented. A survival for more than ten years after diagnosis is uncommon for ALS; the longest documented durations are thirty-two and thirty-nine years and these cases were termed benign because of the lack of the typical progressive course.

When he was young, he enjoyed riding horses and playing with other children. At Oxford, he coxed a rowing team, which, he stated, helped relieve his immense boredom at the university. Symptoms of the disorder first appeared while he was enrolled at Cambridge; he lost his balance and fell down a flight of stairs, hitting his head. Worried that he would lose his genius, he took the Mensa test to verify that his intellectual abilities were intact. The diagnosis of motor neuron disease came when Hawking was 21, shortly before his first marriage, and doctors said he would not survive more than two or three years. Hawking gradually lost the use of his arms, legs, and voice, and as of 2009 has been almost completely paralysed.

During a visit to the research centre CERN in Geneva in 1985, Hawking contracted pneumonia, which in his condition was life-threatening as it further restricted his already limited respiratory capacity. He had an emergency tracheotomy, and as a result lost what remained of his ability to speak. He has since used an electronic voice synthesizer to communicate.

The DECtalk DTC01 voice synthesizer he uses, which has an American English accent, is no longer being produced. Asked why he has still kept it after so many years, Hawking mentioned that he has not heard a voice he likes better and that he identifies with it. Hawking is said to be looking for a replacement since, aside from being obsolete, the synthesizer is both large and fragile by current standards. As of mid 2009, he was said to be using NeoSpeech's VoiceText speech synthesizer.

In Hawking's many media appearances, he appears to speak fluently through his synthesizer, but in reality, it is a tedious drawn-out process. Hawking's setup uses a predictive text entry system, which requires only the first few characters in order to auto-complete the word, but as he is only able to use his cheek for data entry, constructing complete sentences takes time. His speeches are prepared in advance, but having a live conversation with him provides insight as to the complexity and work involved. During a Technology, Entertainment, & Design Conference talk, it took him seven minutes to answer a question.

He describes himself as lucky despite his disease. Its slow progression has allowed him time to make influential discoveries and has not hindered him from having, in his own words, "a very attractive family."

When his wife, Jane, was asked why she decided to marry a man with a three-year life expectancy, she responded, "Those were the days of atomic gloom and doom, so we all had a rather short life expectancy."

On 20 April 2009, Cambridge University released a statement saying that Hawking was "very ill" with a chest infection, and was admitted to Addenbrooke's Hospital

The following day, it was reported that his new condition is "comfortable" and he should make a full recovery from the infection

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12y ago

Yes, he can, but only three fingers of one hand.

Update: As Professor Hawking's disease has progressed, he has lost the use of his hands.

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13y ago

yes Stephen hawking can move his right leg but has minimised movement.

he can also smile.

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11y ago

Hawking was able to walk and had no problem until symptoms of his illness began to show, shortly after his college days at Oxford.

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12y ago

no stephen hawking cant move

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