By performing mental exercises with the device, a stroke patient can hopefully rebuild the damaged path between the brain and hand.

 

Photo courtesy of news.gov.hk

Photo courtesy of news.gov.hk

It used to be said you could never totally recover from a stroke, but an innovation from Hong Kong Polytechnic University has the potential to give a boost for stroke victims undergoing rehabilitation, according to news.gov.hk.

The Brain Training Device, which looks like a helmet you wear while riding a bicycle, is connected to a computer that records your brain activity, while the sensors on the robotic arm track your muscle activity. When the helmet lights up, it shows the doctor what parts of the brain the patient is utilizing. To get the right parts of the hand moving, the patient has to use the right parts of his brain that signal hand movement.

As the news.gov.hk report explains, “When the system detects the signals from the brain and the hand, it connects them, triggering movement in the robotic hand — and the patient’s.” If the patient does this exercise enough, it can hopefully rebuild the damaged path we take for granted that connects our brains and hands.

One patient was making great strides after working with the Brain Training Device, finally being able to move his hand after thirty sessions, whereas before, he was unable to move his hand at all.

Professor Raymond Tong, who spearheaded the development of this technology, was inspired to do it because strokes are the primary cause of disability in his native country, and having worked with stroke victims ever since he was a young volunteer, he knows that more than anything they want to be able to have independent movement, and he’s now fulfilling his dream to help them get healthy again.