Neuroprosthetic Technology for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

Department of Veterans Affairs, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
The journal of spinal cord medicine (Impact Factor: 1.33). 07/2013; 36(4):258-272. DOI: 10.1179/2045772313Y.0000000128
Source: PubMed


Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in a loss of function and sensation below the level of the lesion. Neuroprosthetic technology has been developed to help restore motor and autonomic functions as well as to provide sensory feedback.
This paper provides an overview of neuroprosthetic technology that aims to address the priorities for functional restoration as defined by individuals with SCI. We describe neuroprostheses that are in various stages of preclinical development, clinical testing, and commercialization including functional electrical stimulators, epidural and intraspinal microstimulation, bladder neuroprosthesis, and cortical stimulation for restoring sensation. We also discuss neural recording technologies that may provide command or feedback signals for neuroprosthetic devices. Conclusion/clinical relevance: Neuroprostheses have begun to address the priorities of individuals with SCI, although there remains room for improvement. In addition to continued technological improvements, closing the loop between the technology and the user may help provide intuitive device control with high levels of performance.

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    • "Users of BCI-controlled devices, such as an upper-limb neuroprosthesis [1-4], must be able to use their device while talking and performing other cognitive tasks. Talking could potentially degrade EEG-controlled BCIs due to power spectral changes associated with verbal and cognitive engagement and the large electrical signals from muscles under the scalp. "
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