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Cyberkinetics, Case to develop system to help restore extremity function

lar dystrophy, or with "locked-in" syndrome (tetraplegia and the inability to speak) secondary to stroke. Previously published results from this study of the BrainGate System have demonstrated that a person with severe paralysis may be able to control a computer cursor in order to operate external devices, as well as to operate a prosthetic hand. In a second pilot trial, researchers are testing the BrainGate System in those with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease) and other motor neuron diseases. The study is being conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

About FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation)
FES is a method of applying low level electrical currents to the body to restore or improve function. A heart pacemaker is one example of an FES System. Another example of an FES System is one which employs an electrical current to restore movement by initiating muscle contractions in paralyzed extremities. The main components of an FES system are the electrodes, the stimulator, and sensors or switches. When FES is being used to move muscles, current pulses in the electrodes cause the weakened or paralyzed muscles to contract. Electrodes may be placed on the surface of the skin or they may be implanted under the skin. The stimulator controls the strength and timing of the low-level pulses that flow to the electrodes. The sensors or switches control the starting and stopping of the pulses supplied by the stimulator. To be truly practical, an FES system needs to correct for changes in the environment and day-to-day changes in the user's body via a feedback method that can adjust the stimulation so that it accomplishes the desired movement. Some FES systems are currently available to consumers, others are undergoing clinical evaluation, and many are still in development. In the future, neuroprosthetic devices such as the one being developed under this contract will combine FES technology with direct control by
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Source:Case Western Reserve University


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