Brain-machine interfaces offer improved options for prosthetics and treatments after injury

November 15, 2010



SAN DIEGO
--Two experimental brain-machine technologies -- deep brain stimulation coupled with physical therapy and a thought-controlled computer system--may offer new therapies for people with stroke and brain injuries, new human research shows. In addition, an animal study shows a new artificial retina may restore vision better than existing prosthetics. The findings were announced today at Neuroscience 2010, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news on brain science and health.

Brain-machine interface is an emerging field of neuroscience that aims to translate basic neuroscience research on how the brain packages and processes information to develop devices that help people regain functions lost to disease or injury.

Today's new findings show that: "Harnessing the brain's ability to process, decode, and utilize information has untold therapeutic possibilities," said press conference moderator Miguel A. Nicolelis, MD, PhD, of Duke University and an expert in neurotechnology and brain-computer interfaces. "Today's research advances clearly demonstrate neuroscience's ability to expand our understanding of how the brain works, and translate that knowledge into better treatments, therapies, and technologies."
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This research was supported by national funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations.

View the full news release and materials here.

Society for Neuroscience

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