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Posts Tagged ‘Cyberkinetics’

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 »