Enhancing functional abilities and cognitive integration of the lower limb prosthesis

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Science Translational Medicine  02 Oct 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 512, eaav8939
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav8939

Good vibrations

The lack of sensory feedback from the leg prosthesis in lower limb amputees is associated with risk of falls, low mobility, and perception of the prosthesis as external object. Here, Petrini et al. tested a leg neuroprosthesis, which provided real-time on-demand tactile sensory feedback through nerve stimulation in three transfemoral amputees. The stimulation improved mobility, decreased falling episodes, and increased the perception of the prosthesis as part of the body. Active complex tasks were accomplished with reduced effort when the nerve stimulation was turned on. The results suggest that real-time nerve stimulation could help restore natural sensation in lower leg amputees.

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