Patients Can Now Know The Location Of Their Prosthetic Along With A Sense Of Touch
Proprioception is the ability that lets us know intuitively where our hands are, how our feet are moving and what our mouth is doing. Simply put it is the ability to sense the movement or position of our body. Thus, our ability to perform any activity, such as throwing a ball, walking or talking without mumbling, all form a part of proprioception. Furthermore, the lack or absence of proprioception will make us look at our hands every time we are eating, to make sure our hand reaches our mouth and so on.
However, unfortunately amputees who have to depend on prosthesis end up facing issues of this nature all the time. To address their issue, prostheses with the ability to relay their position to the user along with providing the vital sense of touch has been developed by the collaborated efforts of researchers at Eacute;cole polytechnique feacute;deacute;rale de Lausanne in Switzerland, EPFL, the Santrsquo;Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa and the A. Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome.
The device works by electrically stimulating the nerves that remain in the patientrsquo;s stump, which communicate with the brain and recreate necessary sensations. This has been made possible the rough implanting electrodes that are capable of stimulating the targeted nerves. This has enabled amputees to identify shape, size and other basic features of objects that they are allowed to touch with the device.
Needless to mention, that the patients do require extensive training in order to interpret the signals and to adjust the arm. It is noteworthy, that there were positive outcomes obtained from the two people that went through the training to use the new device. As much as 75% of the time, they were successfully able to feel the nature of objects.