A boon to the paralyzed -Brain Gate Neural Interface System

by Medindia Content Team on  July 16, 2006 at 3:11 PM News on IT in Healthcare
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A boon to the paralyzed -Brain Gate Neural Interface System
It will now be possible for a patient with spinal cord injury to produce brain signals that relay the intention of moving the paralyzed limbs , as signals to an implanted sensor, which is then output as electronic impulses. These impulses enable the user to operate mechanical devices with the help of a computer cursor.

A report appearing in the July 13 issue of Nature includes the first published findings from an ongoing clinical trial of the Brain Gate Neural Interface System, a brain-computer interface device in the early stages of clinical testing at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and other institutions across the country.

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"The broad question we are addressing is whether it's possible for someone with paralysis to use the activity of the motor cortex [the part of the brain responsible for motion] to control an external device," says Leigh Hochberg, MD, PhD, a neurologist at MGH, Spaulding and Brigham and Women's Hospital and lead author of the Nature paper. "There has been a question of how the function of the cortex might change after it was disconnected from the rest of the body by damage to the spinal cord. We're finding that, even years after spinal cord injury, the same signals that originally controlled a limb are available and can be utilized."

Manufactured by Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc., of Foxborough, Mass., the BrainGate System consists of an internal sensor to detect brain cell activity and external processors that convert brain impulses into computerized signals. Two clinical trials are currently underway to evaluate the system's safety and feasibility for detecting and translating brain activity from patients with paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury, brain stem stroke or muscular dystrophy and patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). John Donoghue, PhD, a neuroscience professor and director of the Brain Science Program at Brown University and the senior author of the Nature paper, is a co-founder of Cyberkinetics.

The Nature report describes the first participant in these trials, a 25-year-old man who had sustained a spinal cord injury leading to paralysis in all four limbs three years prior to the study. Over a period of nine months, he took part in 57 sessions during which the implanted BrainGate sensor recorded activity in his motor cortex while he imagined moving his paralyzed limbs and then used that imagined motion for several computer-based tasks. Among his accomplishments - completed with little or no learning time - was moving a computer cursor to open simulated e-mail, draw circular shapes and play simple video games. He also was able to open and close a prosthetic hand and use a robotic limb to grasp and move objects.

"This system is giving us, for the first time, the ability to look at and listen to firing patterns of ensembles of individual neurons in the human brain for extended periods of time. We hope the knowledge gained from this work will allow the development of systems that provide improved communication and environmental control for people with paralysis and someday, when combined with neuromuscular stimulators, restore control over their limbs," says Hochberg, an instructor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School and an investigator in neuroscience at Brown. He and his co-authors also note that the system requires significant improvement in reliability and control and that further research is needed before it will be useful outside a research setting.

Source :Eureka

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I wanted to know if you can help my sister who had a brain anerysm about 7 years ago which left her paralyzed on her left side. Her left arm and leg does not work. She is in a nursing home and has to rely on them for everything. My hopes and prayers are that she can come home where she belongs if she could only walk again. I have searched the internet for years trying to find a way to help her. I was wondering if there is anyway you could help her, or refer me to someone who could. I am interested in getting her into a research program if there is one available. I have no ideal where to find help. Any information would be great. I think that if u can help people with spinal injuries that it would be possible to help her. She is paralyzed on her left side because while in surgery for the anerism it caused her to have a stroke. Please won't you help us. Thank you for your time.

Can u give me the ppt&report about the topic 'brain gate neural interface systems' which i would like to do as my final year project. I am very much interested in this topic.

mahesh 24

can u give me the detailed information about the topic 'brain gate systems' which i would like to do as my final year project. i am very much interested in this topic.


I am a final yr MCA student..I would like to take a seminar onthe topic "BRAIN GATE.".pls help me by giving the electronics part of this project...can u also provide me with a ppt on this topic.its urgent


I am a final yr Electronics & Commn engg. student..I would like to take a seminar onthe topic "BRAIN GATE.".pls help me by giving ythe electronics part of this project...can u also provide me with a ppt on this topic.its urgent....plsssssss

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