Share on Facebook “We couldn’t have predicted this surprising clinical outcome when we began the project,” said Nicolelis, co-director of the Duke Center for Neuroengineering who is originally from Brazil.“What we’re showing in this paper is that patients who used a brain-machine interface for a long period of time experienced improvements in motor behavior, tactile sensations and visceral functions below the level of the spinal cord injury,” he said. “Until now, nobody has seen recovery of these functions in a patient so many years after being diagnosed with complete paralysis.”Several patients saw changes after seven months of training. After a year, four patients’ sensation and muscle control changed significantly enough that doctors upgraded their diagnoses from complete to partial paralysis.Most patients saw improvements in their bladder control and bowel function, reducing their reliance on laxatives and catheters, he said. These changes reduce patients’ risk of infections, which are common in patients with chronic paralysis and are a leading cause of death, Nicolelis said.Brain-machine systems establish direct communication between the brain and computers or often prosthetics, such as robotic limbs. For nearly two decades, Nicolelis has worked to build and hone systems that record hundreds of simultaneous signals from neurons in the brain, extracting motor commands from those signals and translating them into movement.Nicolelis and colleagues believe with weekly training, the rehab patients re-engaged spinal cord nerves that survived the impact of the car crashes, falls and other trauma that paralyzed their lower limbs. At the beginning of rehabilitation, five participants had been paralyzed at least five years; two had been paralyzed for more than a decade.One participant, “Patient 1,” was a 32-year-old woman paralyzed for 13 years at the time of the trial who experienced perhaps the most dramatic changes. Early in training, she was unable to stand using braces, but over the course of the study, she walked using a walker, braces and a therapist’s help. At 13 months, she was able to move her legs voluntarily while her body weight was supported in a harness, as seen in a video recorded at the Alberto Santos Dumont Association for Research Support where the neurorehabilitation lab is located.“One previous study has shown that a large percentage of patients who are diagnosed as having complete paraplegia may still have some spinal nerves left intact,” Nicolelis said. “These nerves may go quiet for many years because there is no signal from the cortex to the muscles. Over time, training with the brain-machine interface could have rekindled these nerves. It may be a small number of fibers that remain, but this may be enough to convey signals from the motor cortical area of the brain to the spinal cord.”Building a foundation at DukeSince the 1990s, Nicolelis has investigated how populations of brain cells represent sensory and motor information and how they generate behavior, including movements of upper and lower limbs.In one early experiment carried out with fellow neuroscientist John K. Chapin, Ph.D., Nicolelis used brain-implanted microelectrodes to record the brain activity of rats trained to pull a robotic lever to get a sip of water. Through a brain-machine interface, the rats learned to control the lever using only their brain activity.“They simply produced the correct brain activity and the robotic arm would bring water to the rat’s mouth without them having to move a muscle,” Nicolelis said. “With training, animals stopped producing overt behavior and started relying on brain activity.”In later endeavors, Nicolelis trained rhesus monkeys to use brain-machine interfaces to control robotic limbs, and later, the 3-D movements of an avatar — animated versions of themselves on a digital screen. The animals soon learned they could control the movements by mentally conceiving them; there was no need to physically move.The rhesus monkeys later learned to walk on a treadmill with robotic legs controlled by their brains. They also learned they could use thought to propel a small electric wheelchair toward a bowl of grapes.The Duke experiments with rats and primates built a foundation for the work in human patients, including a 2004 article with Duke neurosurgeon Dennis Turner, M.D., that established a model for recording brain activity in patients when they used a hand to grip a ball with varied force.“It’s important to understand how the brain codes for movement,” Nicolelis said. “We discovered principles of how the brain operates that we wouldn’t have discovered without getting inside the brain.”Still, Nicolelis said, the goal of these studies was to open doors for better prosthetics and brain-controlled devices for the severely disabled.“Nobody expected we would see what we have found, which is partial neurological recovery of sensorimotor and visceral functions,” he said.International collaborationThe Walk Again Project has brought together more than 100 scientists from 25 countries, who first made news at the 2014 World Cup in São Paulo when Julian Pinto, a young paraplegic man, using a brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton, was able to kick a soccer ball during the opening ceremony.The Walk Again Project also launched the neuro-rehabilitation study in São Paulo that year. The eight patients spent at least two hours a week using brain-machine interfaces, or devices controlled through their brain signals. All began the program by learning how to operate their own avatar, or digital likeness, in a virtual reality environment.The patients wore fitted caps lined with 11 non-invasive electrodes to record their brain activity through EEG. Initially, when participants were asked to imagine walking in the virtual environment, scientists didn’t observe the expected signals in the areas associated with motor control of their legs.“If you said, use your hands, there was modulation of brain activity,” Nicolelis said. “But the brain had almost completely erased the representation of their lower limbs.”After months of training, scientists began to observe the brain activity they expected to see when the patients’ thought about moving their legs. “Basically, the training reinserted the representation of lower limbs into the patients’ brains,” Nicolelis said.As they progressed, patients graduated from virtual reality to more challenging equipment that required more control over their posture, balance and ability to use their upper limbs, including two commercially available walking devices used in some physical therapy centers in the U.S.: the ZeroG and the Lokomat. Both use overhead harnesses to support a patient’s weight as they build strength and proper gait after paralysis due to injury or neurological conditions such as stroke.The patients rotated through other training systems that applied robotics, including theexoskeleton Pinto wore at the 2014 World Cup.During most of their training, the participants also wore a sleeve equipped with touch-technology called haptic feedback to enrich the experience and train their brains, Nicolelis said. Haptics use varied vibrations to offer tactile feedback, much like the buzzing jolts or kickbacks gamers feel through a handheld controller.Each sensation is unique. So when the avatar walked on sand, the patient felt a different pressure wave on the forearm than when they walked on grass or asphalt, Nicolelis said.“The tactile feedback is synchronized and the patient’s brain creates a feeling that they are walking by themselves, not with the assistance of devices,” Nicolelis said. “It induces an illusion that they are feeling and moving their legs. Our theory is that by doing this, we induced plasticity not only at the cortical level, but also at the spinal cord.”Next stepsNearly all of the patients described in the study have continued their rehabilitation, now exceeding two years of training, Nicolelis said. He and colleagues plan to publish additional data about participants’ continued progress. They also plan to create a new trial with patients who suffered more recent spinal cord injuries to see whether quicker treatment can lead to faster or better results.The team also continues efforts to adapt technologies that are accessible for patients around the world who don’t have access to physical therapy centers with the latest equipment. Perhaps the best answer is haptic sleeves, which by comparison are affordable and something a patient could use at home, Nicolelis said. Pinterest Share on Twitter LinkedIn Share Email Eight people who have spent years paralyzed from spinal cord injuries have regained partial sensation and muscle control in their lower limbs after training with brain-controlled robotics, according to a study published Aug. 11 in Scientific Reports.The patients used brain-machine interfaces, including a virtual reality system that used their own brain activity to simulate full control of their legs. Videos accompanying the study illustrate their progress.The research — led by Duke University neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D.,as part of the Walk Again Project in São Paulo, Brazil — offers promise for people with spinal cord injury, stroke and other conditions to regain strength, mobility and independence.
THE Golden State Warriors made it 10 NBA wins in a row with a 107-98 victory at home to the Houston Rockets on Friday, while the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped run of three consecutive defeats.Golden State made it 10 wins in a row with a 107-98 victory at home to the Rockets on Friday.Warriors pair Steph Curry (24) and Klay Thompson (20) combined for 44 points, while Houston’s James Harden was held to 17 points and 12 rebounds.Reigning NBA champions the Cavaliers returned to winning ways, accounting for the Philadelphia 76ers 122-105.It was Cleveland’s third in eight games after a turbulent month. The San Antonio Spurs, meanwhile, rallied to top the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-95.WARRIORS USE BIG FOURTH QUARTERThe Warriors trailed by two points entering the final quarter, but outscored Houston 24-13 in the fourth to win their 10th straight and inch closer to claiming the top seed in the Western Conference.Golden State’s bench also came up big. Andre Iguodala scored 14 points with five rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals, while JaVale McGee posted 13 points with five blocks and four rebounds in just 11 minutes of action.The Warriors received a total of 49 points off the bench, with all six players shooting 50 per cent or better from the field.CAVS BOUNCE BACKThe Cavs needed a win and they got it thanks to some help from LeBron James. James poured in 34 points with nine rebounds and six assists against the short-handed 76ers.LEONARD OUTSHINES WESTBROOKRussell Westbrook continued his mission to make history on Friday, but the Thunder came up short against the Spurs.After trailing by 13 points at half-time, and 21 points at one point, San Antonio came roaring back in Oklahoma City. Kawhi Leonard led the way with 28 points, eight rebounds and three steals.Westbrook stole the show, though. With his 32 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists, he earned his 39th triple-double of the season. He now needs just three more to surpass Oscar Robertson’s record of 41 in a single season.CELTICS HOLD ON, BUCKS WIN IN OTIsaiah Thomas had 36 points as the Boston Celtics edged the Orlando Magic 117-116, while the Milwaukee Bucks prevailed 108-105 against the Detroit Pistons in overtime.The Charlotte Hornets defeated the Denver Nuggets 122-114, the New York Knicks topped the Miami Heat 98-94, the Toronto Raptors were 111-100 winners over the Indiana Pacers, the Dallas Mavericks lost 99-90 to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Utah Jazz beat the Washington Wizards 95-88 and the New Orleans Pelicans accounted for the Sacramento Kings 117-89. read more
About Connatix V56490 Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Skip The Twins/Tigers game Thursday night was 1 of 7 Major League Baseball games postponed to recognize social justice. Star Tribune Sports Columnist Jim Souhan joined me on WJON today. He says he expects Major League Baseball games to be played today including the Twins doubleheader in Detroit. Jim also expects the NBA and WNBA to resume play today and for the NHL to resume their playoffs starting tomorrow. 360p Auto (360p) 720p HD 1080p HD About Connatix V56490 The Twins will start Randy Dobnak in the first game of today’s doubleheader. Jim expects game 2 to be a bullpen game. He says Michael Pineda could be activated and start either Sunday or early next week. Pineda is returning after serving a suspension for violation of the MLB PED policy.The Vikings are just weeks away from starting their season September 13 against Green Bay. Jim says the Vikings are likely to continue talking with running back Dalvin Cook about a contract extension and something could get done within the next couple of weeks. He says the Vikings want Cook in Minnesota beyond this season.Enter your number to get our free mobile app Celebrate National Dog Day with Cute Dog Pictures of Sammie the CavachonPHOTO: Laura BradshawSammie School PicturesIt looks like he’s posing for a school picture. First Day of Puppy Class!PHOTO: Kurt Kremers Sammie in the pantrySammie goes into the pantry every time we open the door. Hasn’t eaten anything in there as of yet. But we try and keep him out. Soda and salt on the bottom shelf – and these can be very toxic to dogs. PHOTO: Kurt KremersSammie hiding under blanketCan you see me? I was hiding under the blanketPHOTO: Kurt KremersSammie ToysSometimes I try to be good and only chew on my own toys. In this case, a bone. PHOTO: Kurt KremersSammie did I hear a noiseI was playing, but I think I heard something…. did you? PHOTO: Kurt KremersSammie steals foodLaura Bradshaw TSM St CloudSammie SmoosherTrying to look sweet, even though he has been fairly naughty… like usually. PHOTO: Laura Bradshaw TSM St CloudSammie tired dogPooped pupper. Long day of being crazy dog get this pup tired. And he will just suddenly plop down and fall asleep. 1/1 read more
A U.S. Open Cup record crowd at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium saw the home side jump out to an early lead through an own goal. Minnesota United’s Chase Gasper was the unlucky defender credited with the strike, having put his leg in front of a Leandro Gonzalez Pirez cross only to see it deflect wildly and float in over the head of Vito Mannone. By the 16 minute mark, Gonzalo “Pity” Martínez had Atlanta 2-0 in front, smashing home a Justin Meram pass to double the lead and put the home side comfortably out in front early on. Minnesota would not go down without a fight though, and clawed one back early in the second half. Robin Lod turned home a Kevin Molino cross with a fine finish of his own to make it 2-1, giving the visiting side some hope of a second-half comeback. Those hopes got a second boost from Gonzalez Pirez, who was sent off after picking up two cards in the span of three minutes, leaving Atlanta with 10 men as the club tried to hold onto its narrow lead. But a late push from Minnesota came up short, but Atlanta pleasing the home crowd by picking up a third trophy in the last 12 months and claiming a place in the Concacaf Champions League for next season. Atlanta can add to that growing list season with another MLS Cup title. Atlanta United has another trophy to add to the club’s ever-growing case. Having claimed the MLS Cup title last season and followed up with a Campeones Cup crown earlier this month, the Five Stripes added a U.S. Open Cup trophy with a 2-1 win over Minnesota United on Tuesday. The Five Stripes sit top of the Eastern Conference, level on points with the Philadelphia Union with a game in hand, with just seven matches left in the MLS regular season. While top spot in the East remains within the club’s grasp, hopes of claiming the Supporters’ Shield, given to the top team in the league over the course of the regular season, are extremely slim. Despite having the second-best point total in MLS, the club trails Los Angeles FC by 14 points. read more