A Ray Of Hope For Stroke Patients

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Stroke for some implies lifelong impairment of movements and hence, a lot of compromised functions. Many stroke patients are bed ridden because of damage to the brain. Stroke is taking form of a global epidemic, with India too not being spared by this disease, as roughly 424 per 100000 people are affected in the urban areas. The prevalence is relatively less in the rural areas albeit, the gross figures estimate a conundrum inflicted by the ailment. However, a new treatment modality has been devised, which will enable patients to be able to resume control of movements after an attack of stroke.

This devise called the ipsihand, uses the anatomy and physiology of human brain, which involves both sides of brain to be able to elicit movement of limbs. For instance, if you want to move your left hand, the signal of movement of hand is transferred both to the motor area on the left side and on the right side. So in short, it is after transmission of signal to both sides of brain that you would be able to move your left hand. It is this pathway of impulse transmission which is being utilized for curing patients with stroke.

When a patient is hit by an attack of paralysis, it is usually the contralateral side, the functions of which are impaired. So a paralysis on the left side indicates impairment of the right side of brain, while the left part continues to function normally. This also means that even thought the right side is compromised, the left portion is capable of generating and transmitting impulses, but there is no movement because of non functioning right brain. So if something external that performs the function of right side of brain is coupled with the normal left brain, the paralysed left portion might function normally.

This is what the ipsihand will do! The ipsihand has 3 components- the electrodes which detect signals from brain, an amplification device which is a computer and a brace which can move and is attached on the paralysed side.

Even though this device is still being tested by researchers in the Washington University, it is being anticipated that it might alter lives of the many, with lost or compromised bodily functions.  



TAGGED IN : Stroke Neurology Technology Ipsihand Device

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