About author :
Dr. Srinath Nissankararao*
Dept. of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Professor and Principal, Sri Siddhartha Pharmacy College, Nuzvid, AP, India
The mind-to-movement system that allows a quadriplegic man to control a computer using only his thoughts is a scientific milestone. It was reached, in large part, through the brain gate system. This system has become a boon to the paralyzed. The Brain Gate System is based on Cyber kinetics platform technology to sense, transmit, analyze and apply the language of neurons. The principle of operation behind the Brain Gate System is that with intact brain function, brain signals are generated even though they are not sent to the arms, hands and legs. The signals are interpreted and translated into cursor movements, offering the user an alternate Brain Gate pathway to control a computer with thought, just as individuals who have the ability to move their hands use a mouse.
Key words: Neuroprosthetic device, brain waves, central nervous system.
A neuroprosthetic device known as Braingate converts brain activity into computer commands. A sensor is implanted on the brain, and electrodes are hooked up to wires that travel to a pedestal on the scalp. From there, a fiber optic cable carries the brain activity data to a nearby computer. The principle of operation of the BrainGate Neural Interface System is that with intact brain function, neural signals are generated even though they are not sent to the arms, hands and legs. These signals are interpreted by the System and a cursor is shown to the user on a computer screen that provides an alternate “Brain Gate pathway”. The user can use that cursor to control the computer, just as a mouse is used.”Brain Gate is a brain implant system developed by the bio-tech company Cyber kinetics in 2003 in conjunction with the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University. The device was designed to help those who have lost control of their limbs, or other bodily functions, such as patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or spinal cord injury. People with these types of paralysis have at least two characteristics in common: a brain that is capable of directing movement and a body that fails to respond. Beyond the current clinical trial, the ultimate goal of the Brain Gate research effort is to provide a new pathway for brain signals to control external devices such as computers or even one’s own limbs that have been “disconnected” from the brain due to paralysis or limb loss. The computer chip, which is implanted into the patient and converts the intention of the user into computer commands.
The idea of moving robots or prosthetic devices not by manual control, but by mere “thinking” (i.e., the brain activity of human subjects) has been a fascinated approach. Medical cures are unavailable for many forms of neural and muscular paralysis. The enormity of the deficits caused by paralysis is a strong motivation to pursue BMI solutions. So this idea helps many patients to control the prosthetic devices of their own by simply thinking about the task. This technology is well supported by the latest fields of Biomedical Instrumentation, Microelectronics; signal processing, Artificial Neural Networks and Robotics which has overwhelming developments. Hope these systems will be effectively implemented for many biomedical applications.