Neuroscience

Phantom limbs learn impossible tricks

(PhysOrg.com) -- New research has shown that body images can be formed independently of external sensory inputs, and that the phantom limbs of amputees can be trained to carry out tasks that would be impossible for real limbs.

Neuroscience

Phantom limb sensation explained

After a limb amputation, brain areas responsible for movement and sensation alter their functional communication. This is the conclusion of a new study published today in Scientific Reports. According to the authors, from ...

Medical research

Fingernails reveal clues to limb regeneration

Mammals possess the remarkable ability to regenerate a lost fingertip, including the nail, nerves and even bone. In humans, an amputated fingertip can sprout back in as little as two months, a phenomenon that has remained ...

Neuroscience

Studies promising for sensory feedback for hand prostheses

(HealthDay)—By triggering sensory stimulation, transradial amputees are able to regain proprioception; and a slippage simulation strategy can detect slipping in a patient with hand amputation, according to two small studies ...

Medical research

A prosthetic arm that decodes phantom limb movements

About 75 percent of amputees exhibit mobility of their phantom limb. Using this information, in collaboration with physicians, researchers from CNRS and Aix-Marseille University have developed a prototype capable of detecting ...

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Amputation

Amputation is the removal of a body extremity by trauma, prolonged constriction, or surgery. As a surgical measure, it is used to control pain or a disease process in the affected limb, such as malignancy or gangrene. In some cases, it is carried out on individuals as a preventative surgery for such problems. A special case is the congenital amputation, a congenital disorder, where fetal limbs have been cut off by constrictive bands. In some countries, amputation of the hands or feet is or was used as a form of punishment for people who committed crimes. Amputation has also been used as a tactic in war and acts of terrorism; it may also occur as a war injury. In some cultures and religions, minor amputations or mutilations are considered a ritual accomplishment. Unlike some non-mammalian animals (such as lizards that shed their tails, salamanders that can regrow many missing body parts, and hydras, flatworms, and starfish that can regrow entire bodies from small fragments), once removed, human extremities do not grow back, unlike portions of some organs, such as the liver. A transplant or a prosthesis are the only options for recovering the loss.

In the US, the majority of new amputations occur due to complications of the vascular system (of or pertaining to the blood vessels), especially from diabetes. Between 1988 and 1996, there was an average of 133,735 hospital discharges for amputation per year in the US. .

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