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How video games and augmented reality could cure phantom pain

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posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 03:38 PM

For the most part, phantom limbs and the pain they can feel remain a medical mystery. No one is quite sure why a person who has lost a limb might feel like they can move it or be tormented by stabbing muscle cramps and searing pain in that nonexistent appendage. But a researcher in Sweden is getting closer to finding a cure for phantom pain thanks to an experimental muscle mapping treatment that uses augmented reality to trick the brain into thinking a missing arm is back, and video games that have a player steer a car with a missing hand. Max Ortiz-Catalan is a PhD candidate at Chalmers University of Technology and the Centre of Orthopaedic Osseointegration at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden with a master's in science. He designed a system that combines advanced myoelectric pattern recognition with augmented reality and video games. Essentially, Ortiz-Catalan attaches probes to the point where an amputee's arm was removed to detect muscle movements. That data is then fed into open-source computer software Ortiz-Catalan created, which deciphers those movements and uses them to create a computer-generated image of the missing arm. The patient then uses the muscle movements he would usually use to move his missing limb, and the augmented video shows the reattached arm moving in real time. In the next phase of the weekly two-hour treatment, Ortiz-Catalan uses the same electrodes to have the patient steer a car in video game TrackMania with his missing hand.

This looks promising and it's using my favorite racing game ever .. Trackmania Nations Forever , which is 100% free to download btw.

Full article here :

Game On !!

edit on 4-3-2014 by Alundra because: link didn't work

posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 04:06 PM
It's amazing what can be done with all the new tech.

I have phantom limb. I don't get pain. My arm is paralyzed and if I'm laying in bed . I think my arm is in another spot. I can wave it around, but I look and it's doing absolutely nothing. It's really strange. I think I'm touching my sheets, then the blanket. Can feel the different textures like I really am. It must be similar to an amputated limb in this respect.

I think the brain can be tricked. Sometimes I forget it won't move and will almost use it, but the second I think oh yeah it doesn't move, it stops working. I think in a state of adrenaline it might spring to life and work. In order to save me from danger.

I just wish there was a way to repair damaged neurones in the brain.

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