For many years, the existence of “ghost members” among amputees was a mystery that attracted the attention of scientists all over the world. There was a moment that was considered psychological phenomenon, fruits mourning for a lost limbHowever, over time it was discovered that amputated hand map Created by measuring brain activity in patients is very similar to people who have not lost this part of their body. In addition, some studies show that the “movement” of an amputated hand generates brain activity in amputation.

So what would happen if all of this was used to create prostheses that moved in response to movements of an amputated limb? This question was asked by a team of French scientists, from Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et Robotiques, University of Ex-Marseille and the Institute of Physiology and RestitutionThe answer was a prosthesis that moves phantom limb movementsso that patients, as they explain in a study just published in Borders in Bioengineering and Biotechnologyno need to pass No operation or previous training,

Credit: E. Montalivet 2018.

When a phantom limb ceases to be a ghost

about 75% of patients with amputation has the ability to "move" your phantom limb. These movements are caused by contractions developed in the stump muscles which were not related to the joints prior to amputation. The result is similar to the result. surgical remix this is done to accommodate some dentures, but in this case it happens spontaneously and without surgery,

75% of patients with amputation have the ability to move their phantom limb

This led these French researchers to develop algorithms which recognize muscle activity that occurs before the movement of a phantom limb and reproduce it in the prosthesis. At the moment, they conducted tests in two outpatient patients and as you can see in This video, the results were very encouraging. In none of the cases was there a prosthesis placed on the stump, but instead next to him, However, patients hold and release objects at willin just a few minutes Introduction to the device,

This study is very positive for two reasons. On the one hand, this may be due to the launch of a new type of prosthesis. easier to useIn many cases, those who require training end up in desperate need of patients who may be disappointed and give up before settlingOn the other hand, the results support the rest of the scientists who assured that there is neurological explanation for the emergence of ghost members and it should be studied more carefullyto make applications as interesting and useful as those obtained by these French researchers.