Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Queen’s invention connects brain functioning to limb control

10.09.2002


Pilot project for stroke victims to begin this fall



A Queen’s neuroscientist’s invention to help understand the role of the brain in arm and leg movement will dramatically improve the assessment and rehabilitation of stroke and spinal cord victims. It will also help lay the groundwork for development of neural prostheses that can re-activate paralyzed limbs.

Dr. Stephen Scott’s unique mathematical model, combined with his new experimental device, KINARM (Kinesiological Instrument for Normal and Altered Reaching Movement), enables researchers for the first time to objectively quantify and manipulate the mechanics of limb movement in multi-joint motor tasks. This device has already generated several new observations on how the brain coordinates limb movements.


In a pilot project to begin this fall at St. Mary’s by the Lake Hospital, the device will be used to quantify motor function of stroke patients. Motor patterns will be examined first for a number of simple tasks while subjects maintain fixed arm postures, then for more sophisticated tasks where they learn to make reaching movements while the robot applies complex novel loads to assess their ability to learn new motor skills. The long-term goal is to identify which tasks patients can and cannot perform, and to create "fingerprints" to aid in the diagnosis and classification of motor dysfunctions, as well as to guide future directions for therapy.

"We needed a different experimental paradigm to understand how neurons in the brain are involved in controlling movement," says Dr. Scott. "Once you’ve built the technology, the rest becomes much easier." That’s why he spent two years creating the recently-patented robotic device, KINARM, which provides quantitative, objective data required to assess performance and identify dysfunctions.

To be used at Western, University of Chicago
The team has also installed a KINARM system at the University of Western Ontario, and is currently developing one for the University of Chicago. "We hope to give other researchers an opportunity to use this technology in answering questions about limb movement that couldn’t be posed before," says Dr. Scott.

Patented in 2000 through Queen’s technology transfer office, PARTEQ Innovations, KINARM has hinge joints aligned with a person’s shoulder and elbow allowing horizontal arm movements, and a computer projection system that provides virtual targets in the plane of the arm. Each joint can be manipulated independently, with different loads added selectively. This allows the device to independently manipulate the mechanics of the shoulder and elbow joints during multi-joint tasks.

"Now that we’re learning how the brain organizes information related to movement and motor control, we can take that information into the clinic and start to look at different patient populations to develop diagnostic tools and provide quantitative information on what the specific deficits are," says Dr. Scott. "That helps to both identify sub-groups of different diseases or deficits, and to guide rehabilitation."

Nancy Dorrance | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.queensu.ca/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht PET imaging tracks Zika virus infection, disease progression in mouse model
20.09.2017 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>