• US stock market daily report (June 10, 2015, Wednesday)

    A brain-machine interface technology, developed by Eric Leuthardt - neurosurgeon at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri - could potentially change the process of how well stroke victims recover.

    Leuthardt discovered that the rule that one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body is not set in stone and that a thought or intention to move could be derived from other parts of the brain.

    Leuthardt said, "In a stroke patient they have had an injury to one side of their brain that causes their hand to be paralyzed. So we are taking a signal from the uninjured side of the brain and decoding that intention to move."

    The thought of wanting to move is then converted into a machine command which is sent to a computerized exoskeleton device that moves Arnold's hand. By using the device, Leuthardt says, the brain can be re-wired and re-trained to compensate for its injured parts.

    "We are using external circuitry, meaning that we are using this brain-computer interface and this exoskeleton which gets controlled by your brain to alter the internal circuitry," Leuthardt said.

    Rick Arnold, a paramedic firefighter from Missouri, was left paralyzed after three strokes, the first occurred in 2009.

    Arnold told his wife Kim that he had just one wish, "All I really wanted to do was to be able to hold her hand. In the very beginning, it was to hold her hand."

    Today, Arnold can hold his wife's hand again, thanks in part to the brain-machine device developed by Leuthardt.

    "Every day is Christmas. It's all working, it's just falling into place the way you want it to be. I am going way beyond what anyone thought including myself, much better," added Arnold.

    Arnold says he is up for any challenge now that his wish came true and he's holding his wife's hand again. Every day presents a new obstacle for Arnold.

    Leuthardt says Arnold has recovered better than anyone expected and he continues to improve every day. He notes the classic notion that the body's ability to recover declines six months after a stroke occurs.

    "Rick was three to four years out from his stroke and we can still recharge his plasticity for him to change his brain circuitry to functional improvement," said Leuthardt.

    Contributed by Millennium Traders
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