Stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI) cause long-term, unilateral loss of motor control due to damage of the brain�s motor cortex on the opposing (contralateral) side of the body. Conventional physical therapy rehabilitation is ineffective in restoring function after brain damage.  In severe cases, patients do not fully recover their motor ability, and patients show no significant performance gains past 3 months of treatment. Brain computer interfaces (BCIs), or devices controlled by brain signals directly, show promise in providing superior rehabilitation but remain restricted to the research stage due to their invasiveness. Also, BCIs cannot work if the signals of interest have been eliminated due to injury as in stroke and TBI. Therefore we present a novel BCI, IpsiHand, which combines advances in neurophysiology, electronics, and rehabilitation to provide an alternative, noninvasive, BCI-based therapy for rehabilitation of hand control following stroke and TBI. Recent study shows that during hand movement, portions of the cortical hemisphere on the same (ipsilateral) side of the body as the hand also activate. IpsiHand uses electroencephalography (EEG) to record these signals and control a powered hand orthosis.  With the orthosis, the undamaged hemisphere can then control both hands, and through neural plasticity IpsiHand can strengthen ipsilateral neural pathways to enhance ipsilateral motor control. In addition, IpsiHand can be used in cases such as spinal cord injury (SCI) to restore hand control in daily life, and the IpsiHand EEG BCI platform is generalized for future students to research and develop BCI applications.


Final Paper

Sam Fok, Raphael Schwartz, and Charles D. Holmes

BcI Orothosis for stroke treatment