Technology is changing the lives of people post-stroke.
Gizmodo recently published an article about a brain computer interface enabling people to regain movement after a stroke. The brain still remembers physical actions even if the body can no longer perform them. A special cap helps create new connections between the brain and the body.
To leverage this still-operating drive to move their bodies, the research team created a device called the Ipsihand that used a head cap to pick up a faint brain signal in the unharmed side of the brain. It then sends commands to a computer, which is hooked up to a wearable exoskeleton. This exoskeleton then can move the thumb, index and middle fingers of the paralyzed stroke patient so they regain a little bit of grasping ability. In trials, after using the Ipsihand, every involved part of a patient’s body began to improve, and it all came down to timing.
People can move their bodies following a stroke because this device builds new pathways in the brain. But it’s one of the many computer-assisted products out there. All aim to help people with movement or communication issues, including aphasia, after a stroke.
Technology and Aphasia
There are studies looking at whether virtual reality can assist in aphasia treatment. There are speech pathologists using virtual reality with their patients to stimulate speech. Apps go hand-in-hand with speech therapy. Who knows what will happen in the future as scientists use new technology?
Are you excited about these new developments in technology?
Image: Tim Sheerman-Chase via Flickr via Creative Commons license