New data obtained on the use of neurointerfaces for recovery after stroke

New data obtained on the use of neurointerfaces for recovery after stroke
New data obtained on the use of neurointerfaces for recovery after stroke
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Scientists at the Pavlov Institute of Physiology have identified a link between being left-handed or right-handed and brain signals, as well as how this could help develop neurointerface technology used after strokes.

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A stroke occurs as a result of a deterioration in the blood supply to the brain, as a result of which tissue death can occur. Violations in the defeat of certain areas are different: for example, if the nerve cells of the area of ​​the cerebral cortex responsible for movement are affected, a person may develop paralysis (complete immobility).

Neurointerface (brain-computer interface, BCI) is a system that allows you to transmit brain signals directly to an external device, that is, to control it in fact by the “power of thought”. BCIs based on the imagination of movements are increasingly used in post-stroke rehabilitation: when imagining movements, the same brain areas that are involved in preparing for real action are activated. At the same time, the personal characteristics of the user, his character traits can influence the result of interaction with the neurointerface and make it possible to predict the success of his control.

Research has shown that the relationship between brain signal recognition and personality traits depends on whether the individual imagines movements with the right or left hand, and whether he is "clean" right-handed or has signs of latent left-handedness. Scientists also found that when controlling BCI subjects, the recognition success when imagining movements with the right hand was higher in expressive sensitive extroverts, while in the left hand - in practical, reserved, skeptical and not very sociable people.

It is assumed that this phenomenon may be based on interhemispheric differences in dopamine levels and in the way movement information is encoded. This study makes it possible to determine how capable each individual person is to manage BCIs based on their personal characteristics, which makes it possible to create personalized trainings for patients who use BCIs and to determine strategies for the rehabilitation of patients with unilateral stroke.

“Further research will be aimed at studying the possibility of controlling BCIs using the imagination of lower limb movements - flexion of the feet and locomotion,” says Varvara Viktorovna Reshetnikova, co-author of the work, junior researcher at the I.P. Pavlova RAS.

The researchers plan to use for these purposes "Biokin", a complex for neurorehabilitation, which is an exoskeleton bed that makes movements with the legs of the lying person while successfully imagining movements of the lower extremities.

“For example, a person kinesthetically imagines that he is walking, and at this time the exoskeleton moves his legs as if he is really in motion,” specifies the mechanism of work of Varvara. "Neurorehabilitation of this kind can be used not only after a stroke, but also after spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy and other disorders of lower limb movements."

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