Virtual Hands Help Stroke Survivors?

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A new study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013 shows that virtual hands controlled by the thoughts of stroke survivors could help them recover use of their hands and arms.

Alexander Doud, M.S., lead study author, and colleagues found that stroke survivors who suffered impaired hand movement have a chance of regaining functions of their hands with brain-computer interface technology.

"During rehabilitation, usually a therapist will move the patient's hand or arm in the desired direction while asking that patient to imagine they are making the movement," Doud, who was a Masters student at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis when the study was conducted, was quoted as saying. "In this practice space, the patients can control photorealistic hands by thinking about using their own hands without actually moving at all."

Researchers say that the system is created in a way that could allow it to be used for many different activities, including picking up a toothbrush or opening a jar.

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