Prosthetic & Orthotic Information Resource

Physical Rehabilitation after Amputation

Patient Bill of Rights

Amputees / Patients are entitled to Respect, Information, and Treatment among other things.

Targeted Muscle Reinnervation
Motor nerves that once controlled the arm are transferred to nearby muscles, which are then fitted with myoelectric sensors to detect contraction.

amputee bill of rights

The Amputee Bill of Rights

Brain Implant Technology could allow for
prosthetic control

According to a a study published in the journal Nature, a recent development in connecting prosthetics to the brain allows more precise movements than were previously accomplished. In laboratory tests, monkeys were able to move an artificial arm by thought and were able to feed themselves with almost 100 per cent accuracy.
Previous research in this area was limited to using brain signals to move virtual objects on a computer monitor. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh America have fitted artificial arms controlled by brain signals to two human patients in 2006. The artificial arms have sensors in the breast plate which picks up signals from relocated nerve endings allowing for some control of the prosthetic hand.
Recent developments in linking the brain with an artificial limb involve implants which send urges along wires the width of a hair. However, the brain emits thousands of signals to control even the simplest of actions, too many to be sent to the prosthetic. The researchers have developed technology in which just 100 are sent and the "gaps" from the missing signals are filled in by a computer algorithm. Using the new implants, the monkeys were able to complete simple actions with almost 98 per cent accuracy, an respectable improvement on previous studies, where precision averaged around 80 percent. "In our research, we've demonstrated a higher level of precision, skill and learning," explained Dr Andrew Schwartz, a professor of neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who led the study. Although his immediate aim is to make a prosthetic for people who suffer from total paralysis, he added: "Ultimately, our goal is to better understand brain complexity". The scientists hope that their study will eventually offer insights into treatments for diseases ranging from Parkinson's to Alzheimer's disease and perhaps even mental illness.

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