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 Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>