Navigation Links
New Technology May Boost Artificial Arms
Date:2/10/2009

Surgery, computer allow better nerve link to brain, researchers say

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Artificial arms are clunky, and many amputation patients don't even bother to use them because they're difficult to control.

But new research suggests that relocated nerves are allowing the brain to communicate directly with artificial arms, allowing patients to do things like peel a banana and fold laundry.

"In the simplest terms, it's a better tool," said study lead author Dr. Todd A. Kuiken, director of the Neural Engineering Center for Artificial Limbs at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. "This will hopefully enable [patients] to do more of the everyday things that we all take for granted, be it cooking or cleaning or working in the yard."

The new artificial-arm technology is still in the development stages, and it will be years before it's improved enough for general use, Kuiken said. And artificial arms remain very expensive. Still, learning to better connect the brain to the arm through nerves is a big advance, he said.

Currently, people with arm amputations typically control their artificial limbs by tensing the muscles in their upper body, such as the biceps and triceps, to control cables, Kuiken said. But, many patients simply don't bother with the limbs, he said.

"The devices just aren't good enough to meet their needs," he said. "Control is a big issue."

In the new study, Kuiken and his colleagues tested a new strategy: surgically transferring the remaining nerves in the amputated arm to muscles in the chest and upper arm. The nerves then allow electrical signals to more easily reach the artificial arm with the help of a computer.

Between January 2007 and January 2008, the study authors compared five amputation patients who had undergone the surgery to five "control" subjects who did not have an amputation.

The researchers found that the patients who had undergone the surgery were able to move their elbows and wrists almost as fast as the other participants.

Essentially, the technology allows greater control of the arm by decoding the signals sent by the muscles, Kuiken said. You could think, "bend your wrist," and your wrist bends. You could think, "rotate your wrist," and your wrist rotates."

The potential cost of the surgery and related expenses is unclear. Currently, artificial arms can cost between $60,000 and $100,000, Kuiken said.

The study was published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Gerald E. Loeb, director of the University of Southern California's Medical Device Development Facility, was impressed by the study results but cautioned that more work is needed.

"The Luke Skywalker [prosthetic] hand idea that's been in science fiction will require a lot of technology to come together," said Loeb, who wrote a commentary in the journal accompanying the study. "We're starting to see substantial advances in several of the pieces, but it's going to be a very long process to integrate these pieces into products for patients."

More information

Learn more about artificial limbs from reachoutmichigan.org.



SOURCES: Todd A. Kuiken, M.D., Ph.D., director, Neural Engineering Center for Artificial Limbs, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; Gerald E. Loeb, M.D., director, Medical Device Development Facility, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Feb. 11, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Prosthetic Center of Excellence to Provide Breakthrough Technology to Rehabilitation Patients
2. Barry Skirble Joins Four Rivers Software Systems as Chief Technology Officer
3. Pearly Penile Papule Patients Can Successfully Be Treated with Targeted CO2 Technology at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre
4. WuXi PharmaTech Honored on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific 2008 List for the Fifth Consecutive Year
5. Champions Biotechnology, Inc.s Doug Burkett, PhD, to Present at BIO CEO & Investor Conference
6. iCardiac's Highly Automated QT(sm) Technology Now Validated in Over 10 Clinical QT Studies
7. Align Technology Executives to Present at ROTH 21st Annual OC Growth Stock Conference
8. Risk-Management Policies Needed Now in Nanotechnology, Insighter Piece Concludes; FDLI Sponsors Nanotechnology Meeting, Publishes Book on FDA-Regulated Products
9. Australian technology in global health toolkit
10. Novel Photoconductive Cellular Depolarization Technology Reveals Insight Into Neuronal Growth, Guidance, and Regeneration
11. eResearchTechnology, Inc. to Present at the UBS Global Healthcare Services Conference on February 10, 2009
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... Individuals who have been diagnosed ... surgery, treatment, therapy and management. Regular exercise in proper environments has been shown ... their diseases. On February 23, 2017, 1:00-2:00 p.m. E.S.T., a dynamic HydroWorx ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... research and conference coverage in veterinary medicine, will be launching its first bi-monthly ... animal health and medicine, business and practice management, and One Health. , ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Atlanta-based Jvion, the leading cognitive clinical science ... practice. Predixion, which raised $42M+ to date, received $20M in its third ... Ventures, and Software AG , will bring top industry talent and an impressive ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... A February 6 article on Healio ... It found that the treatments have led to significant improvements in weight loss and ... efforts. It also noted very few problematic results relating to the treatment. Beverly Hills ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... Ill. (PRWEB) , ... February 20, 2017 , ... ... to reduce the rate at which women are called back for additional examinations ... journal Radiology . , In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/21/2017)... MELBOURNE, Australia , Feb. 21, 2017  IBM (NYSE: ... IBM Watson,s ability to detect abnormalities of the eye,s retina. ... trained a research version of Watson to recognize abnormalities in ... insights and speed in their early identification of patients who ... glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the developed world. ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... Medical Oxygen Concentrators Market: Overview ... Medical oxygen concentrators are used by patients ... having low level of oxygen in their blood ... are to be used only with prescription and ... concentrators work either on rechargeable lithium batteries or ...
(Date:2/21/2017)...   BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals , a clinical stage ... immuno-oncology cancer therapies, today announced that the Company,s ... 2 trial of BeyondSpring,s innovative lead asset, ... lung cancer (NSCLC) with Docetaxel has been selected ... Immuno-Oncology Symposium in Orlando, Fla. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: