About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

35 Years After Limb Loss, Brain can Still Recognize Hand Feeling

by Rajashri on October 13, 2008 at 3:26 PM
Font : A-A+

 35 Years After Limb Loss, Brain can Still Recognize Hand Feeling

A man has shown an emerging sense of touch even 35 years after amputation of his arms in an industrial accident. The man successfully underwent a hand transplant lately.

The finding was made by a University of Oregon neuroscientist.

Advertisement

The 54-year-old man lost his limb 35 years ago in an industrial accident when he was just 19 and received the transplant in December 2006.

However, the finding is currently limited to the man's right palm of a donated hand, which was attached along with major nerves, bones, tendons, and muscle, in a surgery by Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center of Louisville, Ken.
Advertisement

But, now researchers hope to determine how the brain's map of the individual fingers will evolve with increasing sensation, said lead author Scott H. Frey, UO psychology professor and director of the Robert and Beverly Lewis Center for NeuroImaging.

Within only four months of surgery, initial touch sensations were reported on the thenar eminence, muscle on the palm just below the thumb, and on the lateral base of the thumb near the radial nerve.

They used functional magnetic resonance imaging to record brain activity while sensory stimuli were delivered to the hands and faces of the transplant recipient and four control participants.

It was found that sensory signals from the transplanted hand were being processed in the same brain regions that would have formerly handled sensations from the hand prior to amputation.

"This individual is very unique from a brain standpoint. We know that when someone loses a hand, there are reorganizational changes that take place in areas of the brain that have received sensory input from that hand. Yet, even after 35 years, the restoration of sensory input seems capable of recapturing the former territory of the hand. The capacity of the brain to reverse these changes is all the more striking in light of the fact that his brain was fully mature when the amputation occurred. We believe that this work may have far reaching implications for our understanding of brain plasticity in adulthood and neurorehabilitation," said Frey.

While Frey said that they still do not no the exact mechanism behind the results, nor are they certain how long such changes continue, "but one way to think about it is that none of the brain's real estate is left vacant for very long."

With time, the injured man reported gradual reductions of phantom sensations and pain often reported by amputees.

Recovery of sensation and the brain's systematic mapping of the hand-to-brain network, in this case, involve only gross hand map zones, referring to activity of major nerves that were reattached, not any peripheral connections to individual digits.

"We don't know what that map will look like in the future as the nerves of his fingers regenerate and sensation improves," said Frey.

The study is appearing online in advance of regular publication in the latest issue of the journal Current Biology.

Source: ANI
RAS/SK
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
January is the Thyroid Awareness Month in 2022
Menstrual Disorders
Coffee May Help You Fight Endometrial Cancer
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Brain Brain Facts Ataxia Orthotics Language Areas in The Brain Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 

Recommended Reading
Kidney Transplantation
Since the early times, the novel idea of transplanting tissues and other body parts from one ......
Medical Tourism-The Road Ahead
Medical Tourism has become a serious enterprise in India over the last two years. However some ......
Bone Marrow Transplantation - Animation
Animation and slides providing graphic explanation of Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT)/Stem Cell ....
Ataxia
Ataxia affects coordination. Gait becomes unstable and the patient loses balance. The cerebellum or ...
Language Areas in The Brain
The mechanism of how human brain processes the language to express and comprehend the verbal, writte...
Orthotics
Orthotics is concerned using artificial supports or braces. Orthoses play an integral role in the re...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...
Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a psychological measure of human intelligence. Regular physical and me...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)