Author(s): Rupp R
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Abstract Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) are devices that measure brain activities and translate them into control signals used for a variety of applications. Among them are systems for communication, environmental control, neuroprostheses, exoskeletons, or restorative therapies. Over the last years the technology of BCIs has reached a level of matureness allowing them to be used not only in research experiments supervised by scientists, but also in clinical routine with patients with neurological impairments supervised by clinical personnel or caregivers. However, clinicians and patients face many challenges in the application of BCIs. This particularly applies to high spinal cord injured patients, in whom artificial ventilation, autonomic dysfunctions, neuropathic pain, or the inability to achieve a sufficient level of control during a short-term training may limit the successful use of a BCI. Additionally, spasmolytic medication and the acute stress reaction with associated episodes of depression may have a negative influence on the modulation of brain waves and therefore the ability to concentrate over an extended period of time. Although BCIs seem to be a promising assistive technology for individuals with high spinal cord injury systematic investigations are highly needed to obtain realistic estimates of the percentage of users that for any reason may not be able to operate a BCI in a clinical setting.
This article was published in Front Neuroeng
and referenced in Journal of Spine