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:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Dr. Raffi Hovsepian, a leading ... the 2016 “Guide to America’s Top Plastic Surgeons” for seven consecutive years. The ... education, experience, and professional associations. , One the most frequently honored surgeons ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Mediaplanet is proud ... Today, which covers the innovative treatments, therapeutic technologies, and revolutionized nutrition that are ... are prolonging life 6 years in the last 3 decades,” says Dr. Valentine ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... The ... Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa in Honolulu, offering local frontline clinicians the opportunity ... management. , The demand for supplemental training related to pain management has ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... West Milford, NJ (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... Norway, Nothing Water has some unique properties including its unmatched natural purity of just ... described as clean and crisp. , Nothing Water has been available in several ShopRite ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, at The House of Yahweh in Abilene, Texas, has published ... Yisrayl says this generation, known as the Last Generation, started in 1934 A.Y. (After ... up exactly with Bible Prophecy – a protected way for those who will believe. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... -- In the first ever attempt to include phytocannabinoids ... C. sativa, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the University ... , the Universita` del Piemonte Orientale and Phytoplant Research ... unified inventory of phytocannabinoids of different botanical origin. ... chemical and structural diversity of phytocannabinoids. As a result ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Dec. 2, 2016  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... for 2017 and provide updated financial guidance for 2016 ... a conference call on that day with the investment ... guidance. The conference call will begin at ... can access a live webcast of the conference call ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... -- CVS Health Corporation (NYSE: CVS ) ... December 15, 2016, beginning at 8:00 a.m. (ET). Senior members ... in-depth review of the company,s strategies to drive long-term ... discuss 2017 earnings guidance during the event. ... be broadcast simultaneously on the Investor Relations portion of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: