Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Use Thought-Controlled Robotic Arm To Reach And Grab - Science Fiction?

the BrainGate system

Is this just science fiction or the promise of real hope for persons having been affected by stroke and other causes of traumatic brain injury?

This ongoing project actually is accomplishing seemingly the impossible. Matching the movements of a robot to the mental demands of the brain. It is a beginning.

A beginning that proves that the impossible is possible. (here is a quick intro)

"In an ongoing clinical trial, a paralyzed woman was able to reach for and sip from a drink on her own – for the first time in nearly 15 years – by using her thoughts to direct a robotic arm. The trial, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, is evaluating the safety and feasibility of an investigational device called the BrainGate neural interface system. This is a type of brain-computer interface (BCI) intended to put robotics and other assistive technology under the brain's control.
A report published today in Nature describes how two individuals — both paralyzed by stroke — learned to use the BrainGate system to make reach-and-grasp movements with a robotic arm, as part of the BrainGate2 clinical trial. The report highlights the potential for long-term use and durability of the BrainGate system, part of which is implanted in the brain to capture the signals underlying intentional movement. It also describes the most complex functions to date that anyone has been able to perform using a BCI.
For the woman, it was the first time since her stroke that she was able to sip a drink without help from a caregiver." 

Watch this You Tube video to really get your mind around what this project is really all about.

Read the entire article here. 

Source credit: DHHS, NIH News

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Back On Two Wheels Again After Stroke?..... Sorta!

image credit: the SSTattler

"Tadpole Recumbent Trikes.

The trikes we ride are known as "tadpole recumbent trikes". (We can also order delta trikes which have the two wheels on the rear & one on the front).  "Recumbent" means that you are sitting in down with your feet in front of you. These "trikes" have three wheels with two in the front and one behind the rider. This style of trike is known as a "tadpole".

A Bike?

These trikes ride like a little sports car or a go-cart. With their extremely low centre of gravity it is easy to take fast turns without fear of flipping over. Like a bicycle, these trikes are pedal powered and will go as fast as you can pedal. Unlike a bicycle, the trike does not lean when turning, so it is up to the rider to lean and keep all the wheels on the ground. Turning is done with the steering bar that goes under the seat and has handles on each side."

Since my stroke almost ten years ago now, one of the activities that is no longer available to me is riding a bicycle. (or a motorcycle for that matter) I suspect that this may be the case for many people who have been effected by stroke.

Although I haven't been able to have it confirmed, it is my suspicion that the center of gravity within my body has somehow shifted. In any case, however the cause may be explained in technical terms, the effect on my balance is what I call. "walking by bouncing off the walls" 

I do yearn to be able to "bike" again and so I was intrigued  with this article on the recumbent trikes as others may be as well.

Click Here to read the entire article

Article by: the SSTattler

Publisher: John Anderson

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can A Robot Stroke Buddy Help With Your Recovery From Stroke?

"Rehabilitation is crucial after a stroke. Yet patients don’t always do their exercises because they’re boring or difficult to do at home.
But what if you could make them easy and fun?
Enter University of Toronto Associate Professor Alex Mihailidis of the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the Faculty of Medicine and his intelligent, table-top robot.
"This new robot will help to advance the use of robotics in stroke rehab," said Mihailidis, “as it will provide an affordable and accessible technology that can be used in hospitals, clinics, and in the home.”
Mihailidis, of U of T’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) knows the speed and intensity by which stroke patients begin rehabilitation exercises greatly increases patients' neuroplasticity—the brain's ability to reorganize itself around damaged areas by forming new neural connections—and mobility. But rehab exercises are often neglected in a home environment, either because those exercises are repetitive and boring, or because attendants and rehab machines are needed to oversee or complete the exercises. "


Intelligent, affordable rehab robot to help stroke patients

by: March 27, 2012 By Erin Vollick

Provided by "University of Toronto News"

Friday, March 23, 2012

Can a Simple Tool Combined With a Regular Exercise Routine Help Persons Affected By Stroke?

New video from Stroke Nation shares tips on how to get paralyzed shoulders, arms and hands  moving again.

Watch this FREE video now to learn how Rose Ann provides persons affected by stroke with helpful information on a simple inexpensive tool along with a basic therapy routine to reboot the brain and recover lost function.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ALERT: - Canadian Medication Recall Advisory

"Health Canada is informing Canadians that Apotex Incorporated is conducting a voluntary recall of one lot of Apo-Ramipril 5mg Capsules used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). The recall of Lot JR2178 was made to retail outlets across Canada.
Medication in the affected lot being recalled has been found to contain intact but empty capsules - meaning that patients taking them may not receive the dose of medication needed to treat their medical condition.
Without appropriate treatment, hypertension may lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, internal bleeding and improper blood circulation. Although Apo-Ramipril is authorized for treatment of hypertension, the ingredient in this medication may also be prescribed for patients who have recently had a heart attack, or who are at high risk of heart attack or stroke."

Who is affected:

"Canadians who have purchased the affected lot of Apo-Ramipril 5mg Capsules. Affected products bear the drug identification number (DIN 02251574) and are from Lot JR2178."

CLICK HERE to read the entire notification from Health Canada...

A "StrokeNewz" survivor awareness announcement

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Do You Have Them...Yes? - I Know That I Do!


"Are you tripping over piles of books on the floor?   Is your bookcase bulging at the seams with no room for all your new books?   How much time and money are you wasting finding a book or on duplicate purchases? Are you like me, someone who loves to highlight and tag your books for future reference?"

Do you have them...Yes? I know that I do, and it's high time that I followed Sherry's advise and purged my book collection. We all have our favorite book (s)  and we all fear change. In one of my recent "basic computer" classes I asked  "What are ten things that are going away because of advances in technology?" One of the answers of course was hard copy books. One lady  gasped "I could NEVER throw out my books. I will have them till I die." I couldn't help myself in that I added. "And then your kids will throw them out" A look of horror came over her face when that image burned it's way across her brain because she KNEW that what I had said is exactly what would happen.

Sherry Borsheim  of International Association of Business Organization  has laid out a plan that anyone can follow to make this change. If we follow Sherry's advise we can save money and free up valuable space at the same time. Awesome!!!

If you are really not ready to make the Kindle $100.00 (circa) commitment. Amazon features a FREE app for your laptop or other device called Kindle PC. Check it out.

Click Here to read the entire article


Click Here to read the entire article   

credit: "International Association of Business Organization"

Sherry Borsheim,  President

So... What IS "Project Based Stroke Recovery"?

"Different people have different interests.  If you didn’t play basketball or the piano before stroke, it isn’t likely that you want to take up wheelchair basketball or learn to play the piano after your stroke.  We really need to think about Different Strokes for Different Folks — or at least different activities that are aligned with your interests.  So what are your interests and how do you find activities that fit your interest?"

Feeding an interest has proven to be one of the most effective ways of getting our lives back  after having been affected by a stroke. The interests that John talks about are from people in the Edmonton, Canada community but the principal can also be applied to any community. Even yours! Just look around with an eye to your interest or passion. Find a group that shares your interest and join in. Personally I have found a writers group, an arts group and a community school group. The term that I like to apply to this type of recovery is "Project Based Stroke Recovery" and I am becoming more passionate about it every day. I give credit to Dr. Nancy Mayo a Montreal, Canada based researcher for introducing me to this recovery method.  Thanks John and Nancy for sharing!

Click Here to read John's article.

credit: the "Stroke Survivor's Tattler" 

John Anderson - publisher

concept credit: Dr. Nancy Mayo

To learn even more, refer to these publications by Dr. Mayo

Getting on With the Rest of Your Life After Stroke

Getting on With the Rest of Your Life After Stroke 2nd Edition