Daily Archives: July 8, 2009
An assistive technology that enables individuals to maneuver a powered wheelchair or control a mouse cursor using simple tongue movements can be operated by individuals with high-level spinal cord injuries, according to the results of a recently completed clinical trial.
“This clinical trial has validated that the Tongue Drive system is intuitive and quite simple for individuals with high-level spinal cord injuries to use,” said Maysam Ghovanloo, an assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “Trial participants were able to easily remember and correctly issue tongue commands to play computer games and drive a powered wheelchair around an obstacle course with very little prior training.”
In January 2009, Geron, a biotechnology company located in Menlo Park, California, got FDA clearance to inject spinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells into paralyzed patients.
This is the first time a stem cell based therapy will be assessed objectively — that is, as part of a clinical trial — in human beings. As early as this summer, eight to ten patients with spinal cord injury will be selected to participate.