Posts Tagged sensorimotor cortex

[WEB PAGE] Wearable robots usher in next generation of mobility therapies – CORDIS

Wearable robots that can anticipate and react to users’ movement in real time could dramatically improve mobility assistance and rehabilitation tools.

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Wearable robots are programmable body-worn devices, or exoskeletons, that are designed to mechanically interact with the user. Their purpose is to assist or even substitute human motor function for people who have severe difficulty moving or walking.

The BIOMOT project, completed in September 2016, has helped to advance this emerging field by demonstrating that personalised computational models of the human body can effectively be used to control wearable exoskeletons. The project has identified ways of achieving improved flexibility and autonomous performance, which could assist in the use of wearable robots as mobility assistance and rehabilitation tools.

‘An increasing number of researchers in the field of neurorehabilitation are interested in the potential of these robotic technologies for clinical rehabilitation following neurological diseases,’ explains BIOMOT project coordinator Dr. Juan Moreno from the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). ‘One reason is that these systems can be optimised to deliver diverse therapeutic interventions at specific points of recuperation or care.’

However, a number of factors have limited the widespread market adoption of wearable robots. Moreno and his team identified a need for wearable equipment to be more compact and lightweight, and better able anticipate and detect the intended movements of the wearer. In addition, robots needed to become more versatile and adaptable in order to aid people in a variety of different situations; walking on uneven ground, for example, or approaching an obstacle.

In order to address these challenges, the project developed robots with real-time adaptability and flexibility by increasing the symbiosis between the robot and the user through dynamic sensorimotor interactions. A hierarchical approach to these interactions was taken, allowing the project team to apply different layers for different purposes. This means in effect that an exoskeleton can be personalised to an individual user.

‘Thanks to this framework, the BIOMOT exoskeleton can rely on mechanical and bioelectric measurements to adapt to a changing user or task condition,’ says Moreno. ‘This leads to improved robotic interventions.’

Following theoretical and practical work, the project team then tested these prototype exoskeletons with volunteers. A key technical challenge was how to combine a robust and open architecture with a novel wearable robotic system that can gather signals from human activity. ‘Nonetheless, we succeeded in investigating for the first time the potential of automatically controlling human-robot interactions in order to enhance user compliance to a motor task,’ says Moreno. ‘Our research with healthy humans showed such positive and promising results that we are keen to continue validation with both stroke and spinal cord injury patients.’

Indeed, Moreno is confident that the success of the project will open up potential new research avenues. For example, the results will help scientists to develop computational models for rehabilitation therapies, and better understand human movement in more detail.

‘In the project we also defined novel techniques to evaluate and benchmark performances of wearable exoskeletons,’ says Moreno. ‘Further innovation projects are planned by consortium members to follow up on this research, and to exploit developments in the field of human motion capture, human-machine interaction and adaptive control.’

For further information, please see:
project website

via Wearable robots usher in next generation of mobility therapies | News | CORDIS | European Commission

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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.

Keywords

 

Source: Brain–machine interfaces for rehabilitation of poststroke hemiplegia

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[ARTICLE] Activation changes in sensorimotor cortex during improvement due to CIMT in chronic stroke.

Abstract

Purpose: The integrity of the pyramidal tract (PT) does not seem to influence clinical improvement after two weeks of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT). However, when PT is intact, improvement is associated with a decrease of fMRI-activation in primary sensorimotor cortex (SMC) and when affected, with an increase of activation in SMC. The aim was to observe the long-term effect of CIMT, depending on the integrity of the PT, and to correlate improvement with changes in fMRI-activation.

Subjects and methods: Twelve new chronic stroke patients were treated with CIMT and integrity of PT was measured with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Before therapy, after therapy, and after 6 months, changes in motor function were correlated with differential and percent fMRI signal changes.

Results: All patients improved after two weeks of therapy, but only those with intact PT maintained improvement after 6 months. When PT was intact, improvement correlated with first a decrease of activation in SMC and after 6 months with an increase. When PT was affected, improvement consistently correlated with an increase in a lateral extension of SMC. Percent changes of activation were surrounded by differential changes.

Conclusions: An intact PT might be advantageous for lasting improvement after CIMT and subregions in the SMC seem to behave differently during recovery.

via Activation changes in sensorimotor cortex during improvement due to CIMT in chronic stroke – Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience – Volume 29, Number 5 / 2011 – IOS Press.

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