Tag: Northwestern University
A new electromyography biofeedback device that is wearable and connects to novel smartphone games may offer people with incomplete paraplegia a more affordable, self-controllable therapy to enhance their recovery, according to a new study presented this week at the Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico.
Electromyography (recording electrical activity of muscles) biofeedback has been shown to enhance recovery of muscle control in people with incomplete spinal cord injury.
Injection after an injury reduces inflammation and scarring
After a spinal cord injury, a significant amount of secondary nerve damage is caused by inflammation and internal scarring that inhibits the ability of the nervous system to repair itself.
A biodegradable nanoparticle injected after a spinal cord trauma prevented the inflammation and internal scarring that inhibits the repair process, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.
Imagine moving an object by simply thinking about that action. It’s not telepathy, but a recent development by researchers might give hope to patients with paralysis due to spinal cord injuries.
Scientists at Northwestern University in Chicago, with funding from the National Institutes of Health, have successfully bypassed the spinal cord and restored fine motor control to paralyzed limbs using a brain-computer interface.
The researchers have created a neuroprosthesis that combines a brain-computer interface (BCI) that’s wired directly into 100 neurons in the motor cortex of the subject, and a functional electrical stimulation (FES) device that’s wired into the muscles of the subject’s arm. When the subject tries to move his arm or hand, that cluster of around 100 neurons activates, creating a stream of data which can then be read and analyzed by the BCI to predict what muscles the subject is trying to move, and with what level of force. This interpreted data is passed to the FES, which then triggers the right muscles to perform the desired movement.
For those whose arms as well as legs are paralyzed by spinal cord injury, no skill is more broadly useful to regain than the ability to grasp and move objects. Researchers reporting in Nature magazine this week say they have devised a new way to get a patient’s hand to grasp a greater range of objects: by playing recorded brain commands directly to muscle.
For the paralyzed, the technique could provide brain signals a way around the broken spinal cord and allow hand movements more finely tuned to different tasks.