For years, the existence of "ghost members" in amputates is a mystery that has attracted the attention of scientists from around the world. There was a moment that was thought to be psychological phenomenon, fruit on mourning for the lost limb. However, over time it has been discovered that amputated manual map Created by measuring brain activity of patients is very similar to that of people who have not lost this part of their body. In addition, some studies show that the "movement" of the amputated arm generates brain activity in amputations.

So, what will happen if all this is used to create prostheses that move in response to the movements of the amputated limb? This question was posed by a team of French scientists, from the Institute of Systems for Intellectuals and Robots, Ex-Marseille University and the Institute of Regional Physics and Reproduction. The answer was a prosthesis directed at the phantom limb movements, so that patients, as explained in a study published in the Limits in bioengineering and biotechnology, should not be subjected No operation or pre-training.

Credit: E. Montalivet 2018.

When the phantom leg ceases to be a spirit

Approximately 75% of the amputates has the ability to "move" your phantom limb. These movements are caused by contractions developed in the muscles of the trunk which were not associated with joints before amputation. The result is similar to that of surgical reconnection which is done for setting up some prostheses, but in that case it happens spontaneously and without surgery.

75% of the amputates have the ability to move their phantom limb

This has led these French researchers to design algorithms which recognize the muscle activity generated before the movement of the phantom limb and reproduce it in the prosthesis. At the moment they carried out tests in two patients with transfumeric amputations and, as you can see this video, the results were very encouraging. In none of the cases, the prosthesis was not placed on the stump, but instead near him. Even so, the patients succeeded hold and release objects at will, just for a few minutes Getting to know the device.

This study is very positive for two reasons, mainly. On the one hand, it may include the onset of a new type of prosthesis. easier to use. In many cases, those seeking training end up desperate for patients who may become frustrated and to give up before defeating him. On the other hand, the results are supported by other scientists who have assured them that it exists neurological explanation for the appearance of ghost members and it should be studied more thoroughly, to receive applications as interesting and useful as those obtained by these French researchers.

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