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Phantom limb pain relieved when amputated arm is put back to work
Date:3/10/2014

to believing there is an arm executing such motor commands. He experiences himself as a whole, with the amputated arm back in place."

Differs from previous treatment

Modern therapies that use conventional mirrors or virtual reality are based on visual feedback via the opposite arm or leg. For this reason, people who have lost both arms or both legs cannot be helped using these methods.

"Our method differs from previous treatment because the control signals are retrieved from the arm stump, and thus the affected arm is in charge" says Max Ortiz Catalan. "The promotion of motor execution and the vivid sensation of completion provided by augmented reality may be the reason for the patient improvement, while mirror therapy and medicaments did not help previously."

Clinical study

A clinical study will now be conducted of the new treatment, which has been developed in a collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the University of Gothenburg and Integrum.

Three Swedish hospitals and other European clinics will cooperate during the study which will target patients with conditions resembling the one in the case study that is, people who suffer from phantom pain and who have not responded to other currently available treatments.

The research group has also developed a system that can be used at home. Patients will be able to apply this therapy on their own, once it has been approved. An extension of the treatment is that it can be used by other patient groups that need to rehabilitate their mobility, such as stroke victims or some patients with spinal cord injuries.


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Contact: Krister Svahn
krister.svahn@sahlgrenska.gu.se
46-031-786-3869
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert

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