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Written by Honor Whiteman
Published: Tuesday 8 March 2016
A man from Denmark has become the world's first amputee to feel textures in real-time with the help of a bionic fingertip connected to the nerves of his upper arm.
[A bionic fingertip]
The bionic fingertip has enabled an amputee to distinguish between different textures in real-time with 96% accuracy.
Image credit: Hillary Sanctuary/EPFL
Dennis Aabo Sørensen, who lost his hand in a firework accident more than a decade ago, says the sensations he felt with the novel device were almost the same as those he felt with his real hand.

The creators of the artificial fingertip, including Silvestro Micera of the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, say the development brings us closer to "sensory restoration in the next generation of neuro-prosthetic hands."

In 2014, Medical News Today reported on another bionic creation from Micera and colleagues: a sensory-enhanced artificial hand.

Sørensen became the first amputee to feel objects in real-time with the artificial hand; he was able to detect the shape and consistency of objects with the device, as well as the strength of his grasps on them.

Now, Sørensen has taken the title of the world's first amputee to be able to distinguish between different textures - roughness and smoothness - using a novel bionic fingertip.

Bionic fingertip enabled accurate identification of rough, smooth textures
The artificial fingertip consists of an array of sensors, which were connected to electrodes implanted in the nerves of Sørensen's upper arm.

The movement of the bionic fingertip was controlled by a machine, which moved the device across a variety of textured plastics, some of which were smooth and some rough.

The sensors in the bionic fingertip generated an electrical signal as the device moved across the plastic. This signal was converted into a number of electrical spikes that mimicked nervous system signaling, simulating touch.

Using the bionic fingertip, Sørensen was able to distinguish between the rough and smooth plastics with 96% accuracy.

"The stimulation felt almost like what I would feel with my hand," says Sørensen. "I still feel my missing hand, it is always clenched in a fist. I felt the texture sensations at the tip of the index finger of my phantom hand."
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Written by Yvette Brazier
Published: Thursday 24 September 2015
A 26-year-old man who suffered an injury 5 years ago that him unable to walk has taken his first steps using his own brain power, according to a report in the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation.
[Man learns to walk again]
The man learned to walk again, using his own brain power.
Credit: Dr. Zoran Nenadic

It is the first time that an individual who is unable to walk due to spinal cord injury (SCI) has purposefully operated a noninvasive brain computer interface (BCI) system for overground walking in real time, giving hope for the feasibility of developing BCI brain implants to help people to walk.

Surveys indicate that for people who have paraplegia due to SCI, being able to walk again is a high priority on the way to improving their quality of life. Sixty-percent of them say they would be willing to use a BCI implant if it would help them to walk.

Until now, most people who become paralyzed due to SCI achieve mobility by using a wheelchair, but the sedentary lifestyle that ensues often leads to further problems, notably osteoporosis, heart disease, respiratory illnesses and pressure ulcers. Not only do these cause further suffering to the individual, but they also contribute to medical costs.

The current study, led by Dr. Zoran Nenadic of the University of California, shows that it is possible for someone to use their own brain power to be able to walk again.

The participant underwent training and tests for 19 weeks to prepare for the walk. In each session, he gained more control and completed more tests.

Initially, mental training was needed to reactivate the brain's walking ability. From a seated position, and wearing an electroencephalogram (EEG) cap that read his brainwaves, the participant learned to control an avatar in a virtual reality environment.

He also underwent physical training to recondition and strengthen his leg muscles.

Next, he practiced walking while suspended 5 cm above the ground, in order to be able to move his legs freely without having to support himself.

On his 20th visit, he used these skills and an EEG-based system to walk along a 3.66-meter course on the ground.

He wore a body-weight support system for aid and to stop him from falling. The author of the report adds that he was also able to carry on a light conversation during the walk, without interfering with the system, suggesting good real-time control.
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Benefits of Physical Therapy
Physical therapists are evidence-based health care professionals who offer cost-effective treatment that improves mobility and relieves pain, reduces the need for surgery and prescription drugs, and allows patients to participate in a recovery plan designed for their specific needs.
Improve Mobility & Motion
Physical therapists are experts in improving mobility and motion. Pain-free movement is crucial to your quality of daily life, your ability to earn a living, your ability to pursue your favorite leisure activities, and so much more.
For example:
• Movement is essential to physical activity, which is necessary to prevent obesity, which is responsible for at least 18% of US adult deaths.
• Mobility is crucial for physical independence, and studies suggest that walking alone can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, hip fracture, and knee arthritis, among other benefits.
• Consistent movement is vital to maintaining a healthy balance system, which can help prevent costly falls.
Avoid Surgery and Prescription Drugs
While surgery and prescription drugs can be the best course of treatment for certain diagnoses, there is increasing evidence demonstrating that conservative treatments like physical therapy can be equally effective (and cheaper) for many conditions.
For example:
• Low back pain is routinely over-treated despite abundant evidence that physical therapy is acost-effective treatment that often avoids advanced imaging scans like MRIs that increase the cost of care and the likelihood for surgery and injections.
• Physical therapy has proven as effective as surgery for meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis,rotator cuff tears, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disk disease, among other conditions.
Participate In Your Recovery
Physical therapists routinely work collaboratively with their patients. Treatment plans can be designed for the patient's individual goals, challenges, and needs. Receiving treatment by a physical therapist is rarely a passive activity, and participating in your own recovery can be empowering. In many cases, patients develop an ongoing relationship with their physical therapist to maintain optimum health and movement abilities across the lifespan.
Find a Physical Therapist
Use our Find a PT database to find a physical therapist near you.
Although direct access laws vary by state and insurance plans differ, anyone in the United States can arrange a screening by a physical therapist without a physician's referral. or prescription.
Some states have restrictions about the treatment a physical therapist can provide without a physician referral. Download APTA's direct access summary chart (.pdf) to see the restrictions in your state.
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"The 20 Minute Morning Routine Guaranteed to Make Your Day Better" by Jeff Haden
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The Habits of Successful People: Start Before You Feel Ready
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Welcome to the new year and a better life to come!!!!!
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Falls and Fracture Prevention
Adults ages 65 and older are at the greatest risk of falling, with one-third of older adults in the United States expected to fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But all too often, a senior will receive a physical therapy referral only once she has suffered a fall and sustained related injuries. Natural age-related changes can cause a decrease in flexibility and muscle strength in all seniors. This, in
turn, can make them more likely to avoid movement — which puts them at an even greater risk of falling. To combat these changes and the risk they induce, physical therapy should be a necessary component of a falls prevention intervention program for any senior with posture-related neck, back, or hip pain.
“Some of the elderly are not as mobile as they used to be,” says Kevin Huber, MS, PT, and physical therapist based in Connecticut. “And the worst thing they can do is stop moving. That causes a wasting of bone, which leads to osteopenia or osteoporosis and gives them a greater risk of [suffering a] fracture if they do fall.”
Physical therapy has been proven to improve postural control and lower limb strength in senior women with osteoporosis, effectively lessening their risk of fracture. One study, published in Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, found that physical therapy was able to greatly improve the quality of life of osteoporosis patients, in part because it reduced the physical restrictions on their lives. The specific exercises provided by a physical therapist won’t just help build muscle and improve balance in seniors with osteopenia and osteoporosis; they will also help build bone mass or decrease the rate of bone loss that accompanies these conditions. While medications are often needed to effectively treat osteoporosis once it is diagnosed, physical therapy is an important adjunct therapy because it may safeguard seniors from life-threatening injuries.
John Wilbert, MSPT, and physical therapist at Recovery PT in New York City, explains that when bones are stressed appropriately — when they are challenged by more than the usual weight — bone cells are encouraged to produce more bone. Two types of exercise are critical for bone health: weight-bearing and resistance exercise. A physical therapist helps seniors engage in these types of exercises while avoiding movements that may contribute to fractures. “A physical therapist’s job is to help seniors lose bone at a retarded rate,” says Wilbert. “To do this, you need to walk up and down stairs or engage in strength training, and for many seniors these exercises aren’t safe unless they are guided.”
Ironically, the fear of falling increases fall risk because it leads to muscle atrophy, loss of conditioning, and poor balance; working with a physical therapist can assuage that fear and help prevent physical decline. (Read more about the fear of falling in older adults.) If and when a senior does fall in her home, a medical alert system ensure she gets prompt help, so consider suggesting one to your older patients who are at high risk or who have previously suffered a fall.
Posted from Philips Lifeline
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Thank you to the great team we have at THR. The best physical therapy facilities going. Proud of you all.
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