Thought-Controlled Computer Hands May Aid Stroke Recovery

Thought-Controlled Computer Hands May Aid Stroke Recovery

Virtual reality hands controlled by thought may help stroke patients recover the use of their limbs, according to a study testing whether the brain-computer system could be a new rehabilitation tool. Six stroke patients had as much as 81 percent accuracy in reaching virtual hands to a glass of tea or water viewed on a computer screen, and they improved their skills in as few as three two-hour sessions, according to a report today at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in Dallas.Usually during stroke rehabilitation, therapists will move patients’ arms while asking them to imagine doing the movement themselves. The goal is to help re-establish connections between the brain and limb disabled by stroke. The technology allows patients to see virtual representations of their action, helping to sharpen the ability to create movement, said researchers led by Alexander Doud, chief technology officer at biomedical engineering design firm Synaptic Design, based in Minneapolis.

“This is an engaging system that encourages patients to practice using the areas of their brain that may have been damaged or weakened by their stroke,” he said in the statement.

The system was created to practice a variety of movements, including picking up a toothbrush and opening a jar, he said.

Doud was a master’s student at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis when the study was conducted.

The stroke survivors wore 3-D glasses, which helped give them the illusion they were moving their own hands along with their thoughts. Because of the small sample, more work should be done in more patients, Doud said. However, the pilot study gives hints that this could be an affordable way to help stroke patients regain motion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Lopatto in San Francisco at elopatto@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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