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Neurofeedback News and Research September 2019
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Neurofeedback News and Research September 2019

Neurofeedback News and Research September 2019

Prosthetic Leg with Neurofeedback Makes Walking Easier, Treats Phantom Pain

neurofeedback and cyberneticsFollowing the trend in which humans are increasingly becoming cybernetic organisms, where man and machine are integrated into a functional whole. Cybernetics has some of the most inspiring applications for people missing arms or legs. We are at the edge of a whole new era in this technology, where artificial limbs will become integrated more completely into the body.

A leader in this field of development, SensArs, a Swiss firm, is behind a recent big advance in the field of cybernetics, by building an interface that can link a prosthesis with residual nerves in the thigh and create a neurofeedback mechanism. They have shown that patients can now communicate directly via their brain to the artificial limb.

Two volunteers were fitted with the neurofeedback device and after a period of calibration, they demonstrated significant improvements in their walking ability, measured by traversing a sandy surface.

An artificial leg was outfitted with pressure sensors on its sole, and knee to sense and through neurofeedback, regulate gait. The electrodes were implanted into the volunteers and the tissues were allowed to heal before the small- scale test.

The volunteers were able to feel their legs as being more integrated and less apt to draw their mental attention. It was also shown they were not as tired from walking, as confirmed by measuring brain activity. An unexpected finding was that phantom limb pain was significantly reduced in one of the volunteers and completely gone in the other.

Click here to read the study

Neurofeedback for Tics in Adolescents with Tourette Syndrome

A recent study from the Yale School of Medicine, published on Aug. 13 in the journal Biological Psychiatry, successfully trained a group of adolescents with Tourette’s syndrome to control their tics using neurofeedback from fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging).

Tourette’s syndrome affects about 14 in 1,000 children, causing motor tics in children and adolescents, persisting into adulthood in some cases. These tics are normally treated with behavioral therapy and medications, many of which can have unwanted side effects.

As opposed to medications, neurofeedback therapy can be tailored to more accurately target the area of the brain that needs adjustment, in this case the supplemental motor area. It can make more precise adjustments to what is happening in this area of the brain in terms of brain waves.

Click here to read the study

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