Tag Archives: spinal cord injury

Musical Glove Helps People with Spinal Injuries

Musical Glove
The Mobile Music Touch “musical glove” has been used successfully by people with sensory limitations in their hands. (Credit: Georgia Institute of Technology)

Researchers at Georgia Tech, working together with Shepherd Center, have developed a wireless device that helps improve sensation and motor skills in people who have experienced a paralyzing spinal cord injury (SCI).

The Mobile Music Touch (MMT) glove was originally intended for use with a piano keyboard. When used in tandem with a computer, MP3 player, or smart phone, the glove vibrates the wearer’s fingers so they know what keys to play.

Equipment used for hand rehabilitation may seem monotonous and boring to some, and doesn’t provide any feedback or incentive. Mobile Music Touch overcomes each of those challenges and provides surprising benefits for people with weakness and sensory loss due to SCI. It’s a great example of how wearable computing can change people’s lives.”

— Thad Starner, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology

Some users who had experienced spinal cord injuries found the sensation in their fingers improved while they were using the device. Additional research is looking into the users’ experiences with the glove. Ph.D. graduate Tanya Markow, the project’s leader, hopes to expand the study and include functional MRI results.

How is technology changing your life for the better? Seriously — I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Learn more at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-07/giot-mgi071712.php

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.

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Brain-Machine Interface May Help those with Spinal Cord Injuries

brain-machine interface
Researchers have used new technology to bypass the spinal cord and move a paralyzed hand.

New technology under development at Northwestern University is able to bypass the spinal cord and deliver electrical messages from the brain directly to muscles. In experiments done with monkeys, the brain-machine interface was able to cause both voluntary and complex movement in a paralyzed hand.

“We are eavesdropping on the natural electrical signals from the brain that tell the arm and hand how to move, and sending those signals directly to the muscles. This connection from brain to muscles might someday be used to help patients paralyzed due to spinal cord injury perform activities of daily living and achieve greater independence.”

—Lee E. Miller, the Edgar C. Stuntz Distinguished Professor in Neuroscience, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

Along with his team, Miller, the lead investigator for a brain-machine technology study published in the journal Nature, has designed a multi-electrode array implant, which is able to detect brain activity and serves as the brain-computer interface to generate hand movements.

Learn more at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/nu-nbi041912.php

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.