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Health Advances

Revolutionary technology to treat strokes brings hope to Israeli patients

A system combining motor imagery, virtual reality and electrical stimulation to treat people who suffered a brain stroke is bringing hope to patients in 27 countries.

By ROSSELLA TERCATIN | JPost
MAY 18, 2020

A technology combining motor imagery, virtual reality and electrical stimulation to treat people who suffered a stroke is bringing hope to patients in 27 countries, including Israel.

Israeli biotechnology company NBT has brought to the country the special treatment developed by the Austria-based venture Recoverix, as Recoverix Israel CEO Nadav Schechter explained to The Jerusalem Post.

The technology is based on what is called “brain-computer interface” or BCI, the ability to connect the brain activities to external devices.

“We are the only technology worldwide using BCI to treat stroke survivors,” he said.

In order to explain how the treatment works, the CEO suggested considering the example of a patient who is not able to move one or both arms following a stroke.

“We put a very flexible device connected to 16 electrodes on the patient’s head to register and analyze their brain activity. Moreover, specific electrodes are placed on each of the patient’s arms to provide the electrical stimulation. Finally they sit in front of a screen showing a virtual avatar imitating their motions,” he explained. “The task is simple and yet demanding: imagining your arm bending the forearm upward. If the patient can achieve a motor imagery of this specific motion, the system can capture it from the brain activity and in the same millisecond, the avatar on screen reproduces that specific motion, so the patient sees it. In parallel to that, the arm received electrical stimulation.”

The patient is therefore able to imagine the movement, see it and feel the electrical stimulation in the relevant body part.

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