Using VR to stimulate brain activity, Condition half pts, improved from complete paraplegia to partial.
Paraplegia, or damage to the spinal cord that causes loss of sensation below the injury site, have long been troubling researchers who are trying to ease the daily lives of patients. The key problem lies in the fact that the human brain when it is denied communication with some extremities, after a time, cease to send signals to the body part.
A group of researchers with the help of a combination of two technologies that failed in eight patients with this disease recover part of the function of nerves and after 3 to 15 years in a paralyzed state. In the experiments conducted crossed the virtual reality and robotic exoskeleton designed to react to impulses sent by the brain.
Participants were initially counted brain waves as they imagined moving his hands to generate brain activity. Then they learn how to use their own brain signals moving avatars or robotic legs imagining moving their own. With the virtual reality visual and tactile stimulation are assured that move their limbs, and the signals that their brains due to these simulations created, move the exoskeleton.
After a year of tests, all patients there was an improvement of control over the muscles and in the feeling of pain and touch, but at half the level of paraplegia reduced from full to partial. After repeating this experiment in patients who are paralyzed less than three years, we will know whether this technology can be used as a new form of therapy that could achieve a partial refund of the key neurological function.
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