Cockroaches With Backpacks

What Cockroaches With Backpacks Can Do. Ah-mazing
March 16, 2015

for a team of scientists at Texas A&M University, the roach is a hero: the first animal that humans might successfully transform into a robot, a hybrid of insect and machine that we can send anywhere to be our eyes and ears.


Deep brain stimulation in Parkinson disease.

Adaptive deep brain stimulation in advanced Parkinson disease.
Ann Neurol. 2013 Sep;74(3):449-57.
Little S, et al.
Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford.

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) could potentially be used to interact with pathological brain signals to intervene and ameliorate their effects in disease states. Here, we provide proof-of-principle of this approach by using a BCI to interpret pathological brain activity in patients with advanced Parkinson disease (PD) and to use this feedback to control when therapeutic deep brain stimulation (DBS) is delivered. Our goal was to demonstrate that by personalizing and optimizing stimulation in real time, we could improve on both the efficacy and efficiency of conventional continuous DBS.

We tested BCI-controlled adaptive DBS (aDBS) of the subthalamic nucleus in 8 PD patients. Feedback was provided by processing of the local field potentials recorded directly from the stimulation electrodes. The results were compared to no stimulation, conventional continuous stimulation (cDBS), and random intermittent stimulation. Both unblinded and blinded clinical assessments of motor effect were performed using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale.

Motor scores improved by 66% (unblinded) and 50% (blinded) during aDBS, which were 29% (p = 0.03) and 27% (p = 0.005) better than cDBS, respectively. These improvements were achieved with a 56% reduction in stimulation time compared to cDBS, and a corresponding reduction in energy requirements (p < 0.001). aDBS was also more effective than no stimulation and random intermittent stimulation.

BCI-controlled DBS is tractable and can be more efficient and efficacious than conventional continuous neuromodulation for PD.


A Novel Brain-Computer Interface Approach to Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease
October 31, 2013
S. Andrew Josephson, M.D.
Department of Neurology, UCSF, San Francisco, USA
Related To:  Chapter 372. Parkinson’s Disease and Other Movement Disorders


Deep brain stimulation hinders Parkinson’s for ten years and counting
08 Aug 2011

High-performance neuroprosthetic control by an individual with tetraplegia

High-performance neuroprosthetic control by an individual with tetraplegia
The Lancet, Volume 381, Issue 9866, Pages 557 – 564, 16 February 2013

public media version:

Paralyzed Woman Controls Robotic Arm With Her Thoughts
17 December 2012

woman paralyzed from the neck down by a genetic neurodegenerative condition

Surgeons had implanted two 4×4-millimeter grids of hair-thin electrodes in her brain to capture signals from regions involved in planning hand and arm movements.

Earlier this year, another research team reported that two tetraplegic patients had learned to grasp and manipulate objects using a brain-machine interface (BMI), as these sophisticated prosthetics are often called. This new study improves on that work by demonstrating even more fluid and natural movements—the best yet performed by a paralyzed human patient using a BMI.

High-performance neuroprosthetic control

high-performance prosthetic limb

Brain—machine-interface training

an anthropomorphic prosthetic limb with seven degrees of freedom (three-dimensional translation, three-dimensional orientation, one-dimensional grasping).

Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh

Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Pittsburgh