New design of a system that 'interrogates' and shows how the brain relearns

May 28, 2014
New design of a system that

Monitoring the rehabilitation of patients with neurological damage caused by a stroke, has encouraged Mexican scientists to work in the design and manufacture of a functional infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS -FD) instrument capable of identifying the affected areas of the brain and the sites that were activated while analyzing the oxygen content in blood flow during therapy.

"It's a device consisting of a headband or helmet equipped with emitters and light detectors, oximeter (to measures oxygen levels), a monitor and software. Its operation is based on , which passes through the scalp to the skull leather and displays and "interrogates" in order to obtain information on cell metabolism, alterations in and amount of oxygen," explains Carlos Gerardo Treviño Palacios, researcher at the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE) in Mexico.

He highlights that so far they are ending the development of an oximeter and software to display images. Also, they analyze information that will be provided to the base hardware and detectors, and work in the construction helmet. This will not only help rehabilitate patients, but will create a map of the brain to detect which parts are replacing areas that died in the motor cortex after stroke and watch how the body relearns with the help of rehabilitation.

"The aim is to build a non-invasive imaging system to avoid secluding the patient into a box camera during the shooting of brain "photography" with the limitations of the procedure , as happens with an MRI," says Treviño Palacios.

He notes that although the latter method also measures the concentration of oxygen, despite having a lower resolution does not require the patient to lie still and requires only the use of a helmet, allowing the physician to observe brain activity and progress while continuing the patient's rehabilitation therapy. Additional advantages are system portability and low cost.

"In parallel, we are looking for a fast optical signal, ie, a series of changes that occur a few milliseconds before the neuron is active in the images, which shows the action potential of the nerve cell," says the researcher at INAOE.

This project is jointly implemented by INAOE and the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery of the Mexican Ministry of Health, where collaboration comes naturally to raise an investigation into an imaging modality based on the interaction of light with matter, after a previous collaboration where a system was developed.

"The particular characteristics of the optical imaging system make it a unique tool in certain problems where the in-vivo and in- situ neuroimaging is required noninvasively and continuously for long periods of time. This is the case of the study of brain plasticity in patients going through motor rehabilitation, which should be monitored while practicing neuro-rehabilitation exercises during therapy sessions that can last from 45 minutes to an hour," says  Treviño Palacios.

Explore further: Novel rehabilitation device improves motor skills after stroke

Related Stories

Novel rehabilitation device improves motor skills after stroke

December 2, 2013
Using a novel stroke rehabilitation device that converts an individual's thoughts to electrical impulses to move upper extremities, stroke patients reported improvements in their motor function and ability to perform activities ...

Researchers explore five new avenues for rehabilitation research

November 26, 2013
Because the concept of permanent neurological injury has given way to recognition of the brain's potential for long-term regeneration ad reorganization, rehabilitations strategies are undergoing radical changes. The potential ...

Real-time insight into our brain

March 4, 2014
Combining two imagine technologies, such as MRI for structure and MEG for activity, could provide a new understanding of our how our brain works.

Rehabilitation based on brain-computer interfaces could be superior to robot-assisted programs, research finds

June 5, 2013
Changes in the pattern of connections in the resting brain predict the extent to which stroke patients will recover following rehabilitation, according to new research led by Cuntai Guan of the A*STAR Institute for Infocomm ...

Brainstem discovered as important relay site after stroke

February 25, 2014
Around 16,000 people in Switzerland suffer a stroke every year. Often the result of a sudden occlusion of a vessel supplying the brain, it is the most frequent live-threatening neurological disorder. In most cases, it has ...

Recommended for you

Scientists discover powerful potential pain reliever

August 16, 2017
A team of scientists led by chemists Stephen Martin and James Sahn at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered what they say is a powerful pain reliever that acts on a previously unknown pain pathway. The synthetic ...

Scientists use magnetic fields to remotely stimulate brain—and control body movements

August 16, 2017
Scientists have used magnetism to activate tiny groups of cells in the brain, inducing bodily movements that include running, rotating and losing control of the extremities—an achievement that could lead to advances in ...

Researchers discover fundamental pathology behind ALS

August 16, 2017
A team led by scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Mayo Clinic has identified a basic biological mechanism that kills neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in a related genetic disorder, frontotemporal ...

Scientists give star treatment to lesser-known cells crucial for brain development

August 16, 2017
After decades of relative neglect, star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes are finally getting their due. To gather insight into a critical aspect of brain development, a team of scientists examined the maturation of astrocytes ...

The nerve-guiding 'labels' that may one day help re-establish broken nervous connections

August 16, 2017
Scientists have identified a large group of biological 'labels' that guide nerves to ensure they make the correct connections and control different parts of the body. Although their research was conducted with fruit flies, ...

Navigation and spatial memory—new brain region identified to be involved

August 16, 2017
Navigation in mammals including humans and rodents depends on specialized neural networks that encode the animal's location and trajectory in the environment, serving essentially as a GPS, findings that led to the 2014 Nobel ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.