The eyes have it: how technology allows you to speak when all you can do is blink

Developments in eye-gaze technology – which converts minute movements of the eye into spoken words – are opening up undreamed of opportunities for people with motor neurone syndromeSteve Thomas and I are talking about brain implants. Bonnie Tyler ’s Holding Out For a Hero is playing in the background and for a moment I almost forget that a disease has robbed Steve of his speech. The conversation breaks briefly; now I see his wheelchair, his ventilator, his hospital bed.Steve, a software engineer, was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a type ofmotor neurone disease) aged 50. He knew it was progressive and incurable; that he would soon become unable to move and, in his case, speak. He is using eye-gaze technology to tell me this (and later to turn off the sound of Bonnie Tyler); cameras pick up light reflection from his eye as he scans a screen. Movements of his pupils are translated into movements of a cursor through infrared technology and the cursor chooses letters or symbols. A speech-generating device transforms these written words into spoken ones – and, in turn, sentences and stories form.Continue reading...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Motor neurone disease Medical research Technology Society Science Health & wellbeing Life and style Source Type: news

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Publication date: Available online 20 June 2018 Source:Molecular Immunology Author(s): Anne-Lene Kjældgaard, Katrine Pilely, Karsten Skovgaard Olsen, Stephen Wørlich Pedersen, Anne Øberg Lauritsen, Kirsten Møller, Peter Garred Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating, neurodegenerative motor neuron disease. The aetiology of ALS remains an enigma which hinders the design of an effective treatment to prevent, postpone, or reverse the pathophysiological changes occurring during the aggressive progression of this disease. During the last decade, basic research within the innate immune sy...
Source: Molecular Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 18 June 2018 Source:Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Author(s): Rachit Bakshi, Yuehang Xu, Kaly A. Mueller, Xiqun Chen, Eric Granucci, Sabrina Paganoni, Ghazaleh Sadri-Vakili, Michael A. Schwarzschild Dominant mutations in an antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of motor neurons. Oxidative stress has also been linked to many of the neurodegenerative diseases and is likely a central mechanism of motor neuron death in ALS. Astrocytes derived from mutant SOD1 G93A mouse m...
Source: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 19 June 2018 Source:The Lancet Neurology Author(s): Albert C Ludolph, Joachim Schuster, Johannes Dorst, Luc Dupuis, Jens Dreyhaupt, Jochen H Weishaupt, Jan Kassubek, Ulrike Weiland, Susanne Petri, Thomas Meyer, Julian Grosskreutz, Berthold Schrank, Matthias Boentert, Alexander Emmer, Andreas Hermann, Daniel Zeller, Johannes Prudlo, Andrea S Winkler, Torsten Grehl, Michael T Heneka, Siw Wollebæk Johannesen, Bettina Göricke Background Rasagiline, a monoamine oxidase B inhibitor with neuroprotective potential in Parkinson's disease, has shown a disease-modifying effect in the SOD...
Source: The Lancet Neurology - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
Conclusions: Empathy develops and operates within shared experiences and connections, enabled by structural possibilities provided by the forums giving users the opportunity and means to interact within public, restricted, and more private spaces, as well as within groups and in one-to-one exchanges. The atmosphere and feeling of both sites and perceived audiences were important facilitators of empathy, with users sharing a perception of virtual communities of caring and supportive people. Our findings are of value to organizations hosting health forums and to health professionals signposting patients to additional sources of support.
Source: Journal of Medical Internet Research - Category: General Medicine Authors: Source Type: research
ò RS Abstract BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis flail arm (ALS-FA) is a motor neuron disease form confined to the upper limbs (cervical spinal cord region), often with asymmetric onset. To date, there is no defined neurorehabilitative strategy for ALS patients, although aerobic exercises may be of some help. CASE REPORT: A 69 year-old woman affected by ALS-FA was admitted to our research institute because of upper limb muscles weakness. She was then submitted to two different conventional physiotherapy programs, the first stand-alone and the second combined to a robotic treatment. The patient g...
Source: European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine - Category: Rehabilitation Authors: Tags: Eur J Phys Rehabil Med Source Type: research
Conclusions: NF-L levels increased in CSF and serum of patients with ALS. NF-L may thus be a neurodegenerative biomarker for predicting ALS severity and progression, and the survival of patients with this disease.Neurodegener Dis
Source: Neurodegenerative Diseases - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
CONCLUSIONS: NF-L levels increased in CSF and serum of patients with ALS. NF-L may thus be a neurodegenerative biomarker for predicting ALS severity and progression, and the survival of patients with this disease. PMID: 29898446 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Neuro-Degenerative Diseases - Category: Neurology Authors: Tags: Neurodegener Dis Source Type: research
CONCLUSIONS: The MND-FTD patients frequently displayed a distinctive motor pattern characterized by weakness and atrophy in distal upper limb muscles and dysphagia, with no or little spreading to other regions. These features may help to define specific subgroups of patients, which is important with regard to clinical management, outcome, and research. PMID: 29886477 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders - Category: Psychiatry Tags: Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord Source Type: research
Conclusions: The MND-FTD patients frequently displayed a distinctive motor pattern characterized by weakness and atrophy in distal upper limb muscles and dysphagia, with no or little spreading to other regions. These features may help to define specific subgroups of patients, which is important with regard to clinical management, outcome, and research.Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2018;45:220 –231
Source: Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders - Category: Geriatrics Source Type: research
AbstractSporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS) is the most common form of ALS, however, the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular damage and motor neuron degeneration remain elusive. To identify molecular signatures of sALS we performed genome-wide expression profiling in laser capture microdissection-enriched surviving motor neurons (MNs) from lumbar spinal cords of sALS patients with rostral onset and caudal progression. After correcting for immunological background, we discover a highly specific gene expression signature for sALS that is associated with phosphorylated TDP-43 (pTDP-43) pathology. Transcriptome ...
Source: Acta Neuropathologica - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
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