Posts Tagged BMI

[Abstract] Digital mirror box: An interactive hand-motor BMI rehabilitation tool for stroke patients

Abstract:

We develop a brain-machine interface for the hand-motor rehabilitation of stroke patients. The interface provides both visual and proprioceptive feedback to the user based upon the successful generation of cortical motor commands. We discuss the details of the proposed system and provide a summary of the preliminary experiment. The experiment investigates the importance of simultaneous visual and proprioceptive feedback to the delivery of motor commands from the affected motor cortex of the patients. We also discuss a case study involving a chronic stroke patient who trained with the system for 14 days to recover functional movement in the hand. The results obtained by this study suggest that the developed system is effective at accelerating the recovery of motor function in stroke patients with hand paralysis.

Date of Conference: 13-16 Dec. 2016

Date Added to IEEE Xplore: 19 January 2017

ISBN Information:

Electronic ISBN: 978-9-8814-7682-1

Print on Demand(PoD) ISBN: 978-1-5090-2401-8

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Publisher: IEEE

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Source: Digital mirror box: An interactive hand-motor BMI rehabilitation tool for stroke patients – IEEE Xplore Document

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[ARTICLE] Long-Term Training with a Brain-Machine Interface-Based Gait Protocol Induces Partial Neurological Recovery in Paraplegic Patients – Full Text HTML

Abstract

Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) provide a new assistive strategy aimed at restoring mobility in severely paralyzed patients. Yet, no study in animals or in human subjects has indicated that long-term BMI training could induce any type of clinical recovery. Eight chronic (3–13 years) spinal cord injury (SCI) paraplegics were subjected to long-term training (12 months) with a multi-stage BMI-based gait neurorehabilitation paradigm aimed at restoring locomotion. This paradigm combined intense immersive virtual reality training, enriched visual-tactile feedback, and walking with two EEG-controlled robotic actuators, including a custom-designed lower limb exoskeleton capable of delivering tactile feedback to subjects. Following 12 months of training with this paradigm, all eight patients experienced neurological improvements in somatic sensation (pain localization, fine/crude touch, and proprioceptive sensing) in multiple dermatomes. Patients also regained voluntary motor control in key muscles below the SCI level, as measured by EMGs, resulting in marked improvement in their walking index. As a result, 50% of these patients were upgraded to an incomplete paraplegia classification. Neurological recovery was paralleled by the reemergence of lower limb motor imagery at cortical level. We hypothesize that this unprecedented neurological recovery results from both cortical and spinal cord plasticity triggered by long-term BMI usage.

Introduction

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) rehabilitation remains a major clinical challenge, especially in cases involving chronic complete injury. Clinical studies using body weight support systems1,2, robotic assistance1,2,3,4, and functional electrostimulation of the leg5,6 have proposed potential solutions for assisting SCI patients in walking7,8. Yet, none of these approaches have generated any consistent clinical improvement in neurological functions, namely somatosensory (tactile, proprioceptive, pain, and temperature) perception and voluntary motor control, below the level of the spinal cord lesion.

Since the first experimental demonstrations in rats9, monkeys10,11, and the subsequent clinical reports in humans12,13,14, brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) have emerged as potential options to restore mobility in patients who are severely paralyzed as a result of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) or neurodegenerative disorders15. However, to our knowledge, no study has suggested that long-term training associating BMI-based paradigms and physical training could trigger neurological recovery, particularly in patients clinically diagnosed as having a complete SCI. Yet, in 60–80% of these “complete” SCI patients, neurophysiological assessments16,17 and post-mortem anatomical18 studies have indicated the existence of a number of viable axons crossing the level of the SCI. This led some authors to refer to these patients as having a “discomplete” SCI17 and predict that these remaining axons could mediate some degree of neurological recovery.

For the past few years, our multidisciplinary team has been engaged in a project to implement a multi-stage neurorehabilitation protocol – the Walk Again Neurorehabilitation (WA-NR) – in chronic SCI patients. This protocol included the intensive employment of immersive virtual-reality environments, combining training on non-invasive brain-control of virtual avatar bodies with rich visual and tactile feedback, and the use of closed-loop BMI platforms in conjunction with lower limb robotic actuators, such as a commercially available robotic walker (Lokomat, Hocoma AG, Volketswil, Switzerland), and a brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton, custom-designed specifically for the execution of this project.

Originally, our central goal was to explore how much such a long-term BMI-based protocol could help SCI patients regain their ability to walk autonomously using our brain-controlled exoskeleton. Among other innovations, this device provides tactile feedback to subjects through the combination of multiple force-sensors, applied to key locations of the exoskeleton, such as the plantar surface of the feet, and a multi-channel haptic display, applied to the patient’s forearm skin surface.

Unexpectedly, at the end of the first 12 months of training with the WA-NR protocol, a comprehensive neurological examination revealed that all of our eight patients had experienced a significant clinical improvement in their ability to perceive somatic sensations and exert voluntary motor control in dermatomes located below the original SCI. EEG analysis revealed clear signs of cortical functional plasticity, at the level of the primary somatosensory and motor cortical areas, during the same period. These findings suggest, for the first time, that long-term exposure to BMI-based protocols enriched with tactile feedback and combined with robotic gait training may induce cortical and subcortical plasticity capable of triggering partial neurological recovery even in patients originally diagnosed with a chronic complete spinal cord injury.

Methods

Eight paraplegic patients, suffering from chronic (>1 year) spinal cord injury (SCI, seven complete and one incomplete, see Fig. 1A, Supplementary Methods Inclusion/exclusion Criteria), were followed by a multidisciplinary rehabilitation team, comprised of clinical staff, engineers, neuroscientists, and roboticists, during the 12 months of 2014. Our clinical protocol, which we named the Walk Again Neurorehabilitation (WA-NR), was approved by both a local ethics committee (Associação de Assistência à Criança Deficiente, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil #364.027) and the Brazilian federal government ethics committee (CONEP, CAAE: 13165913.1.0000.0085). All research activities were carried out in accordance with the guidelines and regulations of the Associação de Assistência à Criança Deficiente and CONEP. Each participant signed written informed consent before enrolling in the study. The central goal of this study was to investigate the clinical impact of the WA-NR, which consisted of the integration between traditional physical rehabilitation and the use of multiple brain-machine interface paradigms (BMI). This protocol included six components: (1) an immersive virtual reality environment in which a seated patient employed his/her brain activity, recorded via a 16-channel EEG, to control the movements of a human body avatar, while receiving visuo-tactile feedback; (2) identical interaction with the same virtual environment and BMI protocol while patients were upright, supported by a stand-in-table device; (3) training on a robotic body weight support (BWS) gait system on a treadmill (Lokomat, Hocoma AG, Switzerland); (4) training with a BWS gait system fixed on an overground track (ZeroG, Aretech LLC., Ashburn, VA); (5) training with a brain-controlled robotic BWS gait system on a treadmill; and (6) gait training with a brain-controlled, sensorized 12 degrees of freedom robotic exoskeleton (seeSupplementary Material).

(A) Cumulated number of hours and sessions for all patients over 12 months. We report cumulated hours for the following activities: classic physiotherapy activities (e.g. strengthening/stretching), gait-BMI-based neurorehabilitation, one-to-one consultations with a psychologist, periodic measurements for research purposes and routine medical monitoring (vital signs, etc.). (B) Neurorehabilitation training paradigm and corresponding cumulated number of hours for all patients: 1) Brain controlled 3D avatar with tactile feedback when patient is seated on a wheelchair or 2) in an orthostatic position on a stand-in-table, 3) Gait training using a robotic body weight support (BWS) system on a treadmill (LokomatPro, Hocoma), 4) Gait training using an overground BWS system (ZeroG, Aretech). 5–6) Brain controlled robotic gait training integrated with the sensory support of the tactile feedback at gait devices (BWS system on a treadmill or the exoskeleton). (C) Material used for the clinical sensory assessment of dermatomes in the trunk and lower limbs: to evaluate pain sensitivity, examiner used a pin-prick in random positions of the body segments. Nylon monofilaments applying forces ranging between 300 to 0.2 grams on the skin, were used to evaluate patients’ sensitivity for crude to fine touch. Dry cotton and alcohol swabs were used to assess respectively warm and cold sensation. Vibration test was done using a diapason on patients’ legs bone surface. Deep pressure was assessed with an adapted plicometer in every dermatome.

Continue —> Long-Term Training with a Brain-Machine Interface-Based Gait Protocol Induces Partial Neurological Recovery in Paraplegic Patients : Scientific Reports

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[Abstract] Brain–machine interfaces for rehabilitation of poststroke hemiplegia

Abstract

Noninvasive brain–machine interfaces (BMIs) are typically associated with neuroprosthetic applications or communication aids developed to assist in daily life after loss of motor function, eg, in severe paralysis.

However, BMI technology has recently been found to be a powerful tool to promote neural plasticity facilitating motor recovery after brain damage, eg, due to stroke or trauma.

In such BMI paradigms, motor cortical output and input are simultaneously activated, for instance by translating motor cortical activity associated with the attempt to move the paralyzed fingers into actual exoskeleton-driven finger movements, resulting in contingent visual and somatosensory feedback.

Here, we describe the rationale and basic principles underlying such BMI motor rehabilitation paradigms and review recent studies that provide new insights into BMI-related neural plasticity and reorganization.

Current challenges in clinical implementation and the broader use of BMI technology in stroke neurorehabilitation are discussed.

 

Source: Brain–machine interfaces for rehabilitation of poststroke hemiplegia

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[Abstract] Brain–machine interfaces for rehabilitation of poststroke hemiplegia

Abstract

Noninvasive brain–machine interfaces (BMIs) are typically associated with neuroprosthetic applications or communication aids developed to assist in daily life after loss of motor function, eg, in severe paralysis. However, BMI technology has recently been found to be a powerful tool to promote neural plasticity facilitating motor recovery after brain damage, eg, due to stroke or trauma. In such BMI paradigms, motor cortical output and input are simultaneously activated, for instance by translating motor cortical activity associated with the attempt to move the paralyzed fingers into actual exoskeleton-driven finger movements, resulting in contingent visual and somatosensory feedback. Here, we describe the rationale and basic principles underlying such BMI motor rehabilitation paradigms and review recent studies that provide new insights into BMI-related neural plasticity and reorganization. Current challenges in clinical implementation and the broader use of BMI technology in stroke neurorehabilitation are discussed.

 

Source: Brain–machine interfaces for rehabilitation of poststroke hemiplegia

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[Abstract] Brain–machine interfaces for rehabilitation of poststroke hemiplegia

Abstract

Noninvasive brain–machine interfaces (BMIs) are typically associated with neuroprosthetic applications or communication aids developed to assist in daily life after loss of motor function, eg, in severe paralysis. However, BMI technology has recently been found to be a powerful tool to promote neural plasticity facilitating motor recovery after brain damage, eg, due to stroke or trauma. In such BMI paradigms, motor cortical output and input are simultaneously activated, for instance by translating motor cortical activity associated with the attempt to move the paralyzed fingers into actual exoskeleton-driven finger movements, resulting in contingent visual and somatosensory feedback. Here, we describe the rationale and basic principles underlying such BMI motor rehabilitation paradigms and review recent studies that provide new insights into BMI-related neural plasticity and reorganization. Current challenges in clinical implementation and the broader use of BMI technology in stroke neurorehabilitation are discussed.

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Source: Brain–machine interfaces for rehabilitation of poststroke hemiplegia

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[ARTICLE] Residual Upper Arm Motor Function Primes Innervation of Paretic Forearm Muscles in Chronic Stroke after Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) Training – Full Text HTML/PDF

Abstract

Background: Abnormal upper arm-forearm muscle synergies after stroke are poorly understood. We investigated whether upper arm function primes paralyzed forearm muscles in chronic stroke patients after Brain-Machine Interface (BMI)-based rehabilitation. Shaping upper arm-forearm muscle synergies may support individualized motor rehabilitation strategies.

Methods: Thirty-two chronic stroke patients with no active finger extensions were randomly assigned to experimental or sham groups and underwent daily BMI training followed by physiotherapy during four weeks. BMI sessions included desynchronization of ipsilesional brain activity and a robotic orthosis to move the paretic limb (experimental group, n = 16). In the sham group (n = 16) orthosis movements were random. Motor function was evaluated with electromyography (EMG) of forearm extensors, and upper arm and hand Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA) scores. Patients performed distinct upper arm (e.g., shoulder flexion) and hand movements (finger extensions). Forearm EMG activity significantly higher during upper arm movements as compared to finger extensions was considered facilitation of forearm EMG activity. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to test inter-session reliability of facilitation of forearm EMG activity.

Results: Facilitation of forearm EMG activity ICC ranges from 0.52 to 0.83, indicating fair to high reliability before intervention in both limbs. Facilitation of forearm muscles is higher in the paretic as compared to the healthy limb (p<0.001). Upper arm FMA scores predict facilitation of forearm muscles after intervention in both groups (significant correlations ranged from R = 0.752, p = 0.002 to R = 0.779, p = 0.001), but only in the experimental group upper arm FMA scores predict changes in facilitation of forearm muscles after intervention (R = 0.709, p = 0.002; R = 0.827, p<0.001).

Conclusions: Residual upper arm motor function primes recruitment of paralyzed forearm muscles in chronic stroke patients and predicts changes in their recruitment after BMI training. This study suggests that changes in upper arm-forearm synergies contribute to stroke motor recovery, and provides candidacy guidelines for similar BMI-based clinical practice.

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Continue —> PLOS ONE: Residual Upper Arm Motor Function Primes Innervation of Paretic Forearm Muscles in Chronic Stroke after Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) Training

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[Article] Using a brain-machine interface to control a hybrid upper limb exoskeleton during rehabilitation of patients with neurological conditions – Full Text PDF/HTML/ePUB

Abstract

Background: As a consequence of the increase of cerebro-vascular accidents, the number of people suffering from motor disabilities is raising. Exoskeletons, Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) devices and Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) could be combined for rehabilitation purposes in order to improve therapy outcomes.

Methods: In this work, a system based on a hybrid upper limb exoskeleton is used for neurological rehabilitation. Reaching movements are supported by the passive exoskeleton ArmeoSpring and FES. The movement execution is triggered by an EEG-based BMI. The BMI uses two different methods to interact with the exoskeleton from the user’s brain activity. The first method relies on motor imagery tasks classification, whilst the second one is based on movement intention detection.

Results: Three healthy users and five patients with neurological conditions participated in the experiments to verify the usability of the system. Using the BMI based on motor imagery, healthy volunteers obtained an average accuracy of 82.9 ± 14.5 %, and patients obtained an accuracy of 65.3 ± 9.0 %, with a low False Positives rate (FP) (19.2 ± 10.4 % and 15.0 ± 8.4 %, respectively). On the other hand, by using the BMI based on detecting the arm movement intention, the average accuracy was 76.7 ± 13.2 % for healthy users and 71.6 ± 15.8 % for patients, with 28.7 ± 19.9 % and 21.2 ± 13.3 % of FP rate (healthy users and patients, respectively).

Conclusions: The accuracy of the results shows that the combined use of a hybrid upper limb exoskeleton and a BMI could be used for rehabilitation therapies. The advantage of this system is that the user is an active part of the rehabilitation procedure. The next step will be to verify what are the clinical benefits for the patients using this new rehabilitation procedure.

Full Text HTML —>  JNER | Full text | Using a brain-machine interface to control a hybrid upper limb exoskeleton during rehabilitation of patients with neurological conditions

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[ARTICLE] Brain–machine interfaces in neurorehabilitation of stroke – Full Text HTML

Abstract

Stroke is among the leading causes of long-term disabilities leaving an increasing number of people with cognitive, affective and motor impairments depending on assistance in their daily life. While function after stroke can significantly improve in the first weeks and months, further recovery is often slow or non-existent in the more severe cases encompassing 30–50% of all stroke victims.

The neurobiological mechanisms underlying recovery in those patients are incompletely understood. However, recent studies demonstrated the brain’s remarkable capacity for functional and structural plasticity and recovery even in severe chronic stroke. As all established rehabilitation strategies require some remaining motor function, there is currently no standardized and accepted treatment for patients with complete chronic muscle paralysis.

The development of brain–machine interfaces (BMIs) that translate brain activity into control signals of computers or external devices provides two new strategies to overcome stroke-related motor paralysis.

  • First, BMIs can establish continuous high-dimensional brain-control of robotic devices or functional electric stimulation (FES) to assist in daily life activities (assistive BMI).
  • Second, BMIs could facilitate neuroplasticity, thus enhancing motor learning and motor recovery (rehabilitative BMI).

Advances in sensor technology, development of non-invasive and implantable wireless BMI-systems and their combination with brain stimulation, along with evidence for BMI system’s clinical efficacy suggest that BMI-related strategies will play an increasing role in neurorehabilitation of stroke…

Full Text HTML –> Brain–machine interfaces in neurorehabilitation of stroke.

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