BETTER

Brain-Neural Computer Interaction for Evaluation and Testing of Physical Therapies in Stroke Rehabilitation of Gait Disorders



Grant agreement no.: 247935
Grant Scheme: BETTER - FP7-2009-7.2 - STREP
Project full title: Brain-Neural Computer Interaction for Evaluation and Testing of Physical Therapies in Stroke Rehabilitation of Gait Disorders
Project acronym: BETTER
Duration of the project: 36 months
Start date of the project: 01.02.2010

Project successfully completed

 

Brain-Neural Computer Interaction for Evaluation and Testing of Physical Therapies in Stroke Rehabilitation of Gait Disorders

Walking incorrectly creates a stigma and makes stroke patients more susceptible to injury, affecting quality of life. Most promising interventions to restore walking function are based on robotic systems. The main objective of the project is to improve physical rehabilitation therapies of gait disorders in stroke patients based on BNCI (Brain Neural Computer Interfaces) assistive technologies, improving systems, providing guidelines for further improvements, and developing benchmarking tools.

The project validates, technically, functionally and clinically, the concept of improving stroke rehabilitation with robotic gait exoskeletons based on a TOP-DOWN approach: motor patterns of the limbs are represented in the cortex, transmitted to the limbs and fed back to the cortex; such TOP-DOWN therapeutic  treatment would aim to encourage plasticity of the affected brain structures to improve motor function.

  • The proposed BNCI combines data from Central Nervous System (Electroencephalography, EEG and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy NIRS) and Peripheral Nervous System (Electromyography, EMG) with biomechanical data (Inertial Measurement Units, IMUs).
     
  • It determines if training the activation of signals that control lower limb tasks in combination with robotics devices is beneficial for restoring lower limb function.
     
  • BETTER provides means for objective evaluation of the BNCI-based physical rehabilitation therapy and its usability and acceptability. BETTER proposes a multimodal BNCI which main goal is to explore the representations in the cortex, characterize the user involvement and modify the intervention at the periphery with ambulatory and non-ambulatory robotic gait trainers.
     
  • BETTER provides biofeedback to the patient; it is a crucial factor for success, providing information about the patient's degree of activity and being a key for maintaining and encouraging the motivation and increasing the active participation of the patient.