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Saúde / 23/07/2021

HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Doctors communicate by brain waves with a paralyzed patient: emotion

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Doctors communicate by brain waves with a paralyzed patient: emotion

Fonte GNN

The efforts of more than a decade of research were finally completed successfully after doctors at the University of California, USA, were able to communicate with a paralyzed patient through brain waves.

The technique developed by the neurosurgeon at UCSF - University of California San Francisco - Campus Parnassus, Edward Chang, allows people with paralysis to communicate, even if they cannot speak.

And the first was a 30-year-old patient who had a stroke 15 years ago. And a well-defined experience, this first contact, moved even scientists.

“We were thrilled to see the accurate decoding of a variety of complete sentences […] As far as we know, this is the first very-local demonstration of direct decoding of complete words the brain activity of someone who is paralyzed and cannot speak.” , said Chang, who is the senior author of the study.

The first test results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Historical contact

“This shows strong promise of restoring communication through the use of the brain's natural speech machine. Every year, thousands of people lose the ability to speak due to a stroke, accident or illness,” he said.

Before, communication focuses on resetting defined spelling to type as letters one by one.

Feelings decoding

Chang's study differs efforts in an incredible way: his team is translating repair signals to controlling the muscles of the vocal system to speak words, rather than signals to move the arm or hand to allow typing.

To translate these findings into full-word speech recognition, David Moses, PhD, a postdoctoral engineer in Chang's lab, develops new methods for real-time decoding these patterns and statistical language models to improve the specification.

the first 50 words

To investigate the potential of this technology in patients with paralysis, Chang partnered with fellow neurology associate Karunesh Ganguly to launch a study known as “BRAVO” – Arm and Voice Brain-Computer Interface Restoration.

The study's first participant is a man in his late twenties who suffered a devastating stroke more than 15 years ago, which severely damaged the connection between his brain and his vocal tract and limbs.

Since the injury, he has had severe head, neck, and limb movements and communicates using a pointer attached to a baseball cap to enter letters on a screen.

Will expand the study

Looking ahead, Chang and Moses said they will expand the study to include more participants affected by severe paralysis and communication deficits.

The team is working to increase the number of words in available vocabulary as well as improve speech speed.

“We showed that it is really possible to facilitate communication in this way and that there is potential for use in conversational environments,” he concluded.


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