Brain-Machine Interface May Help Restore Mobility in Paraplegics

Share this content:
Brain-Machine Interface May Help Restore Mobility in Paraplegics
Brain-Machine Interface May Help Restore Mobility in Paraplegics

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A regimen of brain training has restored partial sensation and muscle control in the legs of eight patients paralyzed by spinal cord injuries, according to the first clinical report from Duke's Walk Again Project, published online Aug. 11 in Scientific Reports.

The patients' training regimen started with at least two hours a week spent in a virtual reality environment where their brains controlled the movement of a three-dimensional avatar. An electroencephalogram cap monitored the brain areas that control movement, and translated signals into steps taken by the avatar. A specially designed shirt produced tiny vibrations on their arms every time the avatar moved, providing tactile feedback of each step taken. After months of such training, the patients moved on to more challenging exercises using equipment that allowed them to move their own bodies. In all cases, the patients continued to wear the feedback shirt.

After 12 months of training, all eight patients experienced neurological improvements in somatic sensation in multiple dermatomes. Patients also regained voluntary motor control in key muscles below the spinal cord injury level, and 50 percent of these patients were upgraded to an incomplete paraplegia classification.

"We hypothesize that this unprecedented neurological recovery results from both cortical and spinal cord plasticity triggered by long-term brain-machine interfaces usage," the authors write.

Full Text

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »


Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

More in Home

Gene Tx Approved for Certain Types of B-Cell Lymphoma

Gene Tx Approved for Certain Types of B-Cell ...

First such treatment for certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Uninsurance Down by One-Third for Cancer Diagnoses in 2014

Uninsurance Down by One-Third for Cancer Diagnoses in ...

Significant decreases in uninsurance seen across all stages and sites assessed in first year of ACA

Diabetes Ups Risk of MACE in Acute Coronary Syndromes

Diabetes Ups Risk of MACE in Acute Coronary ...

Diabetes, but not pre-diabetes, tied to increased risk of major adverse cardiac events in adjusted model

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »