New rehabilitation technology looks set to help people with spinal injuryregain motor movement in the arm, it has been revealed.
Wearable exoskeleton “RiceWrist”, developed at Rice University in Texas, allows the user to do supported and unsupported repetitive movements, thereby rebuilding motor pathways in the brain.
During the recovery process, the robot supports as needed by the user, meaning that the patient can do all the work themselves but is assisted or fully sustained by the RiceWrist when they require the help.
Professor Marcia O’Malley from the university said that the robot is “not just an exercise machine”.
“If you really want to reconnect those motor pathways, they need to have the intent. They need the brain thinking about moving and the limbs moving at the same time. That firing in the brain and the spinal cord leads to remapping,” she explained.
In other news, Alzheimer’s drugs could be used to help spinal cord injury patients, it has been revealed.
Scientists from John Hopkins discovered that experimental compounds used to help Alzheimer’s patients were also able to make crushed or cut nerve endings regenerate more quickly.
News brought to you by Serious Law specialists in spinal cord injury
Posted by Paul Breen