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Physical Therapy for the Brain on the Horizon

Posted by Brian Spence on Jul 20, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Brain, Physical TherapyScientists believe they have developed a device that will bring hope to the millions of people who suffer from neuromuscular impairment.

The brain-body communication connection

Your heart beats automatically, your lungs take in air without you having to tell them to. But moving your arm or scratching your chin is a decision, a result of your will, even though you don't think of it in the moment. Your body obeys your commands by responding to what you tell it to do. Now you don't say, "Okay hand, pick up that remote ". But you send a signal from your brain to your hand through motor neurons located along your spinal cord that control your muscle movement. Those neurons jump as your mind forms the thought and you're not even aware. It just happens like magic.

Not magic, but medicine

However, for people who have suffered brain injuries such as strokes, or accidents that affect the functions of the spinal cord, the signals from the brain are impeded, preventing your body from obeying your brain's commands. The mechanism that sends sensory information between the nerves and the brain don't work, and so neither do the muscles that move limbs, hands, fingers, etc.

New vision of hope

BrainQ, headquartered in Israel, has developed a machine that reads the brain waves (EEG) of healthy and impaired brains; this information is translated into patterns that reveal how the brain functions during therapy. Then using Artificial Intelligence technology, they program individualized treatment to retrain the brain. In other words, Physical Therapy for the Brain.According to Yotam Drechsler, CEO of BrainQ, "We are on the verge of a new era where AI- based precision medicine will be used to treat neurodisorders, which do not have a sufficient solution to date."

Although physical therapists can address weak muscles, they can't reprogram the brain, or address the neural damage that caused the impairments. This new method could revolutionize therapy for neuro-recovery.

New innovations in physical therapy promise dynamic progress in patients in every area of mobility. If you're a Physical Therapist considering a career move or looking for a PT to fill a position in your practice or clinic, contact us.

If interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.

 

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