Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Symposium 4

Communication with ALS patients: Neurosurgical approach

Toshiki Yoshimine, M.D., Ph.D.1), Takufumi Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D.1), Jin-ichi Sawada, M.D., Ph.D.3), Takanori Hazama, M.D., Ph.D.3), Hideki Mochizuki, M.D., Ph.D.2) and Masayuki Hirata, M.D., Ph.D.1)

1)Department of Neurosurgery, Osaka University Medical School
2)Department of Neurology, Osaka University Medical School
3)Department of Neurology, Osaka General Medical Center

By progression of the disease, motor neurons degenerate in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) eventually lose nearly all voluntary muscles in the body. They are awake and aware but cannot move or communicate (locked-in state). Since the function of the brain is preserved, one possible measure to support their communication is to interpret their motor intention by decoding (deciphering) brain signals and present it with external devices. This technology called "brain-machine interface (BMI)" is now close to clinical use in Japan and USA. In our system, we record electrocorticogram (ECoG) obtained with subudural electrodes during their motor imagery, decode it and determine the movement they intended. So far, one patient of ALS with severe paralysis, implanted with this electrodes, successfully operated the PC communication tool only by thinking.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (1395K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 53: 1405|1407, 2013)
key words: ALS, communication, BMI, locked-in, ECoG

(Received: 1-Jun-13)