For years, the existence of "ghost members" in amputation has become a mystery, which has attracted the attention of scientists around the world. There are moments that are considered as psychological phenomenon, fruit from mourning for lost limbs. However, over time it has been found that amputated hand map Made by measuring the brain activity of patients very similar to people who have not lost their body parts. In addition, several studies have shown that "movement" of the amputated hand produces brain activity be amputated.

So, what would happen if all of this was used to make a moving prosthesis in response to the movement of an amputated limb? This question was asked by a team of French scientists, from the Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et Robotiques, University of Aix-Marseille and the Regional Institute of Medecine Physique et Repossession. The answer is a moving prosthesis directed by ghost member movements, become patients, as they explained in the study that was just published Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, no need to undergo There were no previous operations or training.

Credit: E. Montalivet 2018.

When the ghost branch stops being a ghost

Approximately 75% are amputated has the ability to "move" your ghost arm. This movement is caused by contraction develops in the stump muscle which is not connected to the joint before amputation. The result is similar to that surgical reconnection which is done for the placement of several prostheses, but in that case it occurs spontaneously and without surgery.

75% of amputations have the ability to move their ghost limbs

This made the French researchers design algorithm which recognizes the activity of muscles produced before the movement of a ghost branch and reproduces it in a prosthesis. At present they have tested in two patients with transhumeral amputations and, as you see this video, the results are very encouraging. None of the cases of the prosthesis are placed on the stump, but vice versa close to him. Even so, the patient is successful hold and release objects as desired, with just a few minutes Introduction to the device.

This study is very positive for two reasons, especially. On the one hand, it can involve start-up of a new type of prosthesis. easier to use. In many cases, those who need training are finally desperate for patients, who may become frustrated give up before mastering it. On the other hand, the results support the rest of the scientists who have convinced that there are neurological explanation for sightings of ghost members and that should be study more thoroughly, to get an interesting and useful application as obtained by these French researchers.