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Archive for the ‘Neurotechnology’ Category

Monday morning in the ballroom – Part 2

Posted by katewillette on April 14, 2008

Now a demo . . a woman named Kaitlin Smith from Biometrics is going to show us a new use of emt signaling — she’s a speech pathologist and she s going to show us how this works with this guy named Brandon who is here from Nebraska

He wheels up to her display.  She’s got electrodes already on his inner arms, which are allowing the machine to read his muscle activity in microvolts.

Okay, so Brandon is twitching a muscle and making the computer say out loud a phrase from a list on the screen  . . . the demo is going kind of rough, but it’s easy to see how much this would mean to someone with ALS, especially.

After some horsing around to get the sound to work, she shows a movie . . . a guy with ALS who can’t do anything at all . . . the neuroswitch allows him to use a computer to do basically whatever any other person can do with a computer. . . it’s wonderful, really.

Next is a neuroseurgoeon named Beverly C Walters who’s going to talk about neurostimulation for early spinal cord injury.  She’s the only civilian neurosurgeon working at Walter Reed.

She’s here representing Cyberkinetics, tho’ she doesn’t work for them — she’s independent.  Her job is to design clinical trials.  She’s here today to tell us about a device that looks about as big as an ipod.

She refers to the device as OFS; I’ve only heard rumors of this until this minute, but it’s intriguing. Right now it’s been used  only for semi-acute T injuries.  About 2 weeks post injury it’s implanted outside the spine, (not touching the cord, just the vertebrae).  It stays in for 15 weeks and is then removed.  It works by sending an oscillating current through the injury site, which as it turns out, causes axons to grow across.

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Posted in Neurotechnology, paralysis, spinal cord injury | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Monday morning in the ballroom – Part 1

Posted by katewillette on April 14, 2008

You know, I think they should really figure out something else to call these rooms . . . I mean, when was the last time a ball was held in this room?  For one thing, it’s carpeted.  Okay, I’m back to work now.

Sue Maus is introducing Jennifer French of the Neurotechnology Network.  The focus of today will be how to stay healthy while the researchers finish off the cure, and how to use technologies that are available right now to maximize well-being.

Jennifer French of the Neurotech Network is going to run this show; she rides her chair up the ramp and then stands up behind a walker. That’s demo #1, because she’s using technology to get up, and part of the program is going to be her explanation of how that works.

The Neurotech Network is a nonprofit that focuses on education of and advocacy for access to neurotech devices and therapies.

“Neurotech”  is the application of medical electronics and engineering to restore or improve the function of the human nervous system . . our bodies already know how to use electrical signals . . . neurotech is NOT a cure, but it can provide ways to fight secondary conditions and stay healthier.

Not every injury is the same, and neither is every kind of neurotech.

There are 2 categories . . internal and external .  . internal is like pacemakers, external is completely outside the bod.

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Posted in Neuropathic Pain, Neurotechnology, spasticity | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »