Neurology Archives

Shimmer ExG Module for Easy ECG/EMG Data Gathering

Shimmer ExG Shimmer ExG Module for Easy ECG/EMG Data Gathering

Shimmer (Dublin, Ireland) is releasing its new ECG/EMG sensor module for researchers and developers to use in novel physiological data gathering applications.

shimmer app Shimmer ExG Module for Easy ECG/EMG Data Gathering

The ECG (electrocardiography) component provides a five-wire, four-channel signal for measuring bipolar limb and any of the V1 – V6 chest placements. The same device also does two channel EMG (electromyography) using a common reference electrode.

Features from the product page:

• Software configurable right-leg drive for common-mode interference rejection
• Software configurable amplifier gain
• Software configurable data rate
• Respiration demodulation capability on-chip
• Lead-off detection capability on-chip
• Test signal on-chip for validation purposes
• EEPROM storage device enables expansion board detection and identification, as well as 2032 bytes of data storage available to user

Product page: Shimmer ExG Module…

Link: ExG spec sheet…

Evoked Potential Assessment Device Prevents Arms and Legs from Falling Asleep During Surgery

Evoked Potential Assessment Device Prevents Arms and Legs from Falling Asleep During Surgery

All of us have fallen asleep on an arm or sat too long on a twisted leg only to get up and feel like the limb itself has fallen asleep. Nerves can get stretched and compressed, and blood vessels squeezed, and, if a person’s position is not corrected soon enough, it can lead to permanent tissue damage, compartment syndrome and such . This scenario can happen during surgery, but since the patient is anesthetized and can’t feel, the situation usually goes undetected and can lead to significant damage. A new product from SafeOp, a company out of Hunt Valley, Maryland has received FDA clearance for “positioning effect” monitoring without having a dedicated nneurophysiological monitoring team.

The Evoked Potential Assessment Device (EPAD) uses SSEPs (somatosensory evoked potentials) to detect abnormal nerve signaling that is indicative of poor patient positioning. The output of the device is sent wirelessly via Bluetooth to a tablet that can be hung beside the patient to allow a live view of the positioning effect so that clinicians can move the patient and prevent intra-op damage.

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Cefaly Migraine Preventing TENS Headband Coming to U.S. Market (VIDEO)

Cefaly Migraine Preventing TENS Headband Coming to U.S. Market (VIDEO)

Migraines have been a challenging condition to treat, often requiring patients to take powerful drugs with substantial side effects. Now the FDA has given the first permission to market a device in the U.S. to help prevent the onset of migraines. The Cefaly from STX-Med out of Liege, Belgium is a non-invasive headband that delivers transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to the trigeminal nerve known to be involved in pathophysiology of migraine headaches. The device is worn for up to 20 minutes per day and is indicated for migraine sufferers 18 years of age or older. As with other TENS devices, there might be a tingling sensation and a muscle may even contract on its own in the head.

The device was cleared through FDA’s de novo review process for low risk devices that can’t go through the 510(k) substantial equivalence standard. Results of a study of 67 patients in Belgium with migraines that don’t take drugs to treat the condition, as well as a satisfaction survey from more than two thousand users in France and Belgium led to the FDA’s positive review of the Cefaly. Here’s a company view explaining the product:

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Electric Stimulator Guides Neuroplasticity to Treat Tinnitus (VIDEO)

Electric Stimulator Guides Neuroplasticity to Treat Tinnitus (VIDEO)

Tinnitus is a debilitating condition thought to be caused by the brain generating a signal in areas no longer stimulated by the auditory system. The brain’s natural plasticity can potentially be utilized to treat tinnitus, by stimulating adjacent regions of the brain. A new system that works on the auditory cortex to guide neuroplasticity has been developed by MicroTransponder, a spin-off company from University of Texas at Dallas, and the technology is now set to begin clinical trials.

The Serenity System couples an implantable vagus nerve stimulator with a tone generator that plays sounds of various frequencies while electric signals are delivered by the neurostimulator. Stimulating the vagus nerve releases chemicals involved in neuroplasticity, so doing so while playing the tones will hopefully train the brain to correlate the various sound frequencies to their normal areas in the auditory cortex.

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Bypassing Paralysis with a Neural Link Across Spinal Cord

Bypassing Paralysis with a Neural Link Across Spinal Cord

Spinal cord injuries end up paralyzing people because of a small break in the neural electrical connection going down the spine. Bypassing the break with some man-made electronics could be a potential solution.

Researchers at Cornell University linked the brain of one monkey to the spinal cord of another so that when neural activity linked to arm movement was recorded in the brain of the first monkey, it was relayed to the spinal cord of the other, making it move a joystick even though sedated. Though this technology is certainly not ready for prime time, the basic components that allow for thought controlled movement of paralyzed limbs due to a spinal cord injury are essentially here.

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Amputee Naturally Feels Through Bionic Hand (VIDEO)

Amputee Naturally Feels Through Bionic Hand (VIDEO)

The mechanics of prosthetic hands has advanced tremendously over the past decades, and these devices have become lighter, stronger, and more responsive to their users. Yet, the sense of touch, a crucial component of a true prosthetic, has been difficult to implement.

Now researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy have reported in Science Translational Medicine the development of new technology that actually transmits what the fingers of a prosthetic are sensing as real tactile perception. They did this by implanting electrodes in the remaining arm of a Danish patient at the median and ulnar nerves, which were then stimulated in response to the pressure sensors built into the prosthetic.

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Reading Brain Waves to Control Music Player, Just About Anything Else

Reading Brain Waves to Control Music Player, Just About Anything Else

Many people with severe disabilities lack any motor function and rely on others to do just about everything on their behalf. Yet, their brains are often just fine and being able to tap into the organ’s electrical activity can lead to tools that allow these patients to gain back functionality. Researchers at University of Malta have developed an EEG-based system that detects steady state visually evoked potentials (SSVEPs) in response to the user looking at flashing buttons on a screen, and that allows the user to control a music player.

SSVEPs are electrical signals produced by the brain in response to the flashing of lights at certain frequencies. A computer screen positioned in front of a human volunteer displays a number of squares, each flashing at different frequencies. By focusing on the flashing of one of the squares, which stands for one of the buttons on a music player, the user would generate a specific SSVEP which the EEG would pick up. By detecting which SSVEP was generated, the system activates the relevant music player button. The technology can certainly be easily converted to operate just about any other device besides a music player, including televisions, powered wheelchairs, and anything else that normally uses buttons as an interface.

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Build Your Own Brain-Computer Interface with OpenBCI (INTERVIEW)

Build Your Own Brain-Computer Interface with OpenBCI (INTERVIEW)

Have you ever wanted to build your own (safe) brain-computer interface device? This is the year you may be able to do that, thanks to the folks at OpenBCI. They’re wrapping up a successful Kickstarter project this week to create a “customizable and fully open brain-computer interface platform that gives you access to high-quality brain wave data.” We had the opportunity to speak with OpenBCI co-founder, Conor Russomanno, about the project:

Shiv Gaglani, Medgadget: How did OpenBCI come to be?

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Medtronic’s Deep Brain Stimulators With Recording Function Implanted in First U.S. Patients

Medtronic's Deep Brain Stimulators With Recording Function Implanted in First U.S. Patients

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been a therapeutic option, but mostly an experimental one, for a number of neurological conditions. While electrically stimulating the brain offers great possibilities in medicine, besides watching for changes in patients’ symptoms it has been difficult to analyze what effect DBS has on the brain.

Medtronic recently unveiled its Active PC+S stimulator that provides DBS therapy while recording brain signals that can shine more light on what effect this has on the patient. Being able to monitor brain activity may allow doctors to improve implantations, perfect the programming of these devices, and hopefully lead to smart stimulators that adjust their behavior in response to changing brain signals. To that end, the first Activa PC+S devices have been implanted in U.S. patients as part of a clinical trial evaluating the value of recorded brain signals in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

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