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

Related Links:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disease that occurs in 4 among 100 000 people in the United States. Individuals with ALS gradually lose their ability to control voluntary muscles, diminishing their ability to communicate. A comprehensive multidatabase search retrieved 31 qualitative research articles that addressed persons with end-of-life experiences with ALS. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied and a critical appraisal was applied for the final 8 included articles. First-person data extraction from the final articles represented emergence of 3 themes significant to persons with ALS: deci...
Source: Holistic Nursing Practice - Category: Nursing Tags: FEATURES Source Type: research
Conclusions: Despite some statistical instability of the results due to limitations in sample size, our study supports the role of CSF pNfH as a prognostic biomarker for motor neuron diseases presenting with UMN signs. A potential power to discriminate between ALS and other UMN syndromes at presentation, and between all of the examined MND and HC, has been detected for both CSF and serum pNfH.Neurodegener Dis 2018;18:255 –261
Source: Neurodegenerative Diseases - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
Abstract BACKGROUND: Patients presenting with upper motor neuron (UMN) signs may widely diverge in prognosis, ranging from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) and hereditary spastic paraplegia (hSP). Neurofilaments are emerging as potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for ALS, but the diagnosis of UMN syndromes still relies mostly on clinical long-term observation and on familiarity or genetic confirmation. OBJECTIVES: To test whether phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain (pNfH) may discriminate different UMN syndromes at diagnosis and to test their prognostic ro...
Source: Neuro-Degenerative Diseases - Category: Neurology Authors: Tags: Neurodegener Dis Source Type: research
Authors: Pinto WBVR, Nunes P, Lima E Teixeira I, Assis ACD, Naylor FGM, Chieia MAT, Souza PVS, A S B Oliveira Abstract Atypical motor neuron disease represents a rare heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders with clinical, genetic and neuroimaging features distinct from those of the classic spinal or bulbar-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). O'Sullivan-McLeod syndrome represents an extremely rare lower motor neuronopathy with early adult-onset distal amyotrophy and weakness in the upper limbs with asymmetrical involvement. To add to the few case series and epidemiological and genetic studies descr...
Source: Revue Neurologique - Category: Neurology Tags: Rev Neurol (Paris) Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 5 November 2018Source: The Lancet NeurologyAuthor(s): Giancarlo Logroscino, Marco Piccininni, Benoît Marin, Emma Nichols, Foad Abd-Allah, Ahmed Abdelalim, Fares Alahdab, Solomon Weldegebreal Asgedom, Ashish Awasthi, Yazan Chaiah, Ahmad Daryani, Huyen Phuc Do, Manisha Dubey, Alexis Elbaz, Sharareh Eskandarieh, Farzaneh Farhadi, Farshad Farzadfar, Seyed-Mohammad Fereshtehnejad, Eduarda Fernandes, Irina FilipSummaryBackgroundUnderstanding how prevalence, incidence, and mortality of motor neuron diseases change over time and by location is crucial for understanding the causes of these d...
Source: The Lancet Neurology - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 5 November 2018Source: MitochondrionAuthor(s): Komal Panchal, Anand Krishna TiwariAbstractNeurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are the group of disorder that includes brain, peripheral nerves, spinal cord and results in sensory and motor neuron dysfunction. Several studies have shown that mitochondrial dynamics and their axonal transport play a central role in most common NDs such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) etc. In normal physiological condition, there is a balance between mitochondrial fission and f...
Source: Mitochondrion - Category: Biochemistry Source Type: research
.
Source: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration - Category: Neurology Authors: Source Type: research
Familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 2 (ALS2) is a juvenile autosomal recessive motor neuron disease caused by the mutations in the ALS2 gene. The ALS2 gene product, ALS2/alsin, forms a homophilic oligomer and acts as a guanine nucleotide–exchange factor (GEF) for the small GTPase Rab5. This oligomerization is crucial for both Rab5 activation and ALS2-mediated endosome fusion and maturation in cells. Recently, we have shown that pathogenic missense ALS2 mutants retaining the Rab5 GEF activity fail to properly localize to endosomes via Rac1-stimulated macropinocytosis. However, the molecular mechanisms underlyi...
Source: Journal of Biological Chemistry - Category: Chemistry Authors: Tags: Molecular Bases of Disease Source Type: research
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disorder characterized by degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. The onset of the disease can include clinical signs of upper (brain) motor neuron decline or more typically lower (spinal cord) motor neuron degeneration. Anatomically, patients may present with clinical signs affecting only the bulbar region (speech, swallowing, breathing), only the limbs, or both areas simultaneously. The pace of motor neuron degeneration can be accelerated, with death ensuing from paralysis and/or respiratory arrest within 3 years, or quite indolent, with patients su...
Source: Mayo Clinic Proceedings - Category: Internal Medicine Authors: Tags: Editorial Source Type: research
Abstract Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor neuron loss in the brain and spinal cord. Mutations in Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) are the first identified genetic mutations that are causative for familial ALS. Soluble SOD1 oligomers are considered the most toxic species and play a key role in the pathologic process of ALS. Here we present a therapeutic strategy for ALS with an oligomer-specific antibody (W20) targeting toxic SOD1 oligomers. Our study showed that W20 significantly improved motor neuron survival and motor performance in SO...
Source: International Immunopharmacology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Authors: Tags: Int Immunopharmacol Source Type: research
More News: ALS | Brain | Eye Implants | Eyes | Hospitals | Motor Neurone Disease | Neurology | Neuroscience | PET Scan | Research | Science