August 8, 2013

BBC Horizons profiles BCI: Neurorehabilitation

Spinal Cord-Injury (SCI) patients lose the ability to move and control their hands, which they typically cite as the one ability they would most value regaining, given its contribution to their independence and self-reliance.

“For patients with spinal cord injuries the brain is fine, the muscles are fine, the intention to move is there, but the connection is broken – so this system reconnects them in a seemingly natural way,” explains CEO & Co-Founder Chris Berka. “This is accomplished by detecting the brain’s intention to open or close the hand, and then communicating that signal to a functional electrical stimulation device that stimulates the muscles, ultimately opening or closing the hand.”

In this mini-episode, the BBC Horizons program provides viewers a chance to meet Felton Brown, who is an SCI patient paralyzed during a high-school football game, and who now works with researchers at the University of Miami (FL) Cure for Paralysis Labs and Advanced Brain Monitoring to develop a new type of restorative therapy technology. The project, supported by DARPA, has now developed a BCI neurorehabilitation system that is designed to provide the most rewarding neurofeedback an SCI patient might ever ask to receive: a method to open and close their hand just by thinking about it, almost like they would naturally.

Please watch, share and visit the Brain-Computer Interface page to learn more about similar BCI technology!

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