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'Brain training' technique restores feeling and movement to paraplegic patients

RADFORD, Tim
August 2016

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It is reported that eight paraplegics – some of them paralysed for more than a decade by severe spinal cord injury – have been able to move their legs and feel sensation, after help from an artificial exoskeleton, sessions using virtual reality (VR) technology and a non-invasive system that links the brain with a computer. "After just 10 months of what the Brazilian medical team “brain training” they have been able to make a conscious decision to move and then get a response from muscles that have not been used for a decade". The work is part of the Walk Again Project.

Long-term training with a brain-machine interface-based gait protocol induces partial neurological recovery in paraplegic patients.

NICOLELIS, Miguel
et al
August 2016

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"Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) provide a new assistive strategy aimed at restoring mobility in severely paralyzed patients. Yet, no study in animals or in human subjects has indicated that long-term BMI training could induce any type of clinical recovery. Eight chronic (3–13 years) spinal cord injury (SCI) paraplegics were subjected to long-term training (12 months) with a multi-stage BMI-based gait neurorehabilitation paradigm aimed at restoring locomotion. This paradigm combined intense immersive virtual reality training, enriched visual-tactile feedback, and walking with two EEG-controlled robotic actuators, including a custom-designed lower limb exoskeleton capable of delivering tactile feedback to subjects. Following 12 months of training with this paradigm, all eight patients experienced neurological improvements in somatic sensation (pain localization, fine/crude touch, and proprioceptive sensing) in multiple dermatomes. Patients also regained voluntary motor control in key muscles below the SCI level, as measured by EMGs, resulting in marked improvement in their walking index. As a result, 50% of these patients were upgraded to an incomplete paraplegia classification. Neurological recovery was paralleled by the reemergence of lower limb motor imagery at cortical level". It is hypothesised that this unprecedented neurological recovery results from both cortical and spinal cord plasticity triggered by long-term BMI usage."

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 30383 (2016)
doi:10.1038/srep30383

Contingency planning guide

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES
2012

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This document provides an overview of the key elements of contingency planning. This guide is aimed at assisting National Society and IFRC staff responsible for developing contingency plans at the local, national, regional or global levels. It is essential to develop contingency plans in consultation and cooperation with those who will have to implement or approve them. This document provides guidelines, not strict rules; planning priorities will differ according to the context and scope of any given situation. This guide breaks contingency planning down into five main steps: prepare, analyse, develop, implement and review. Each step is covered by a separate chapter in this document

Contingency plan for natural disasters (including those arising from severe weather conditions)

EMERGENCY SUPPORT UNIT, SECURITY BUREAU, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government
September 2007

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This contingency plan summarises the Government’s alerting systems and organisational framework for responding to such disasters in Hong Kong. Functions and responsibilities of Government departments and other bodies in the event of natural disasters including those resulting from severe weather conditions are also set out in this Contingency Plan

File Ref. SEC 8/2/12 Part 30

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