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Retraining the brain after injury with neurogame therapy

NSF Award:

NSF Engineering Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering  (University of Washington)

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A portable home therapy system that allows patients with brain injury or disability to practice using weakened muscles in a fun and motivating game environment was developed by researchers at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center headquartered at the University of Washington.

The development of a low-cost home-based system to improve hand function has the potential to benefit the millions of adults recovering from stroke and traumatic brain injury, as well as children with cerebral palsy or other developmental disability or brain injury acquired early in life. This system is expected to substantially reduce health care costs while simultaneously improving rehabilitation outcomes through teletherapy technology to provide focused and motivating muscle retraining.

Current health care reimbursement covers an average of 12 therapy visits after stroke, leaving many individuals with incomplete recovery once discharged. Early results indicated that most children and adults using the home therapy system for one month improved muscle and/or hand function. The preliminary evidence also indicated that virtual feedback of muscle activity, routed through a computer game interface, can improve hand function following stroke or traumatic brain injury, or for children with cerebral palsy.

Images (1 of )

  • wireless sensors convert muscle activity into movements in popular computer games
  • wireless electrodes used with neurogame therapy
The Neurogame Therapy system converts muscle activity into movements in popular computer games.
Wireless electrodes used with Neurogame Therapy.
Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering

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