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Movement restoration with Adaptive EEG And Immersive Neurofeedback

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MoveAGAIN (Movement restoration with Adaptive EEG And Immersive Neurofeedback)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-12-31

The state-of-the-art to help persons regain motor function after stroke is bleak. Every year, about 25 million people worldwide experience a stroke. Of those who survive, the substantial majority are left with permanent movement disabilities. This problem has persisted despite tremendous effort from academic, medical, and commercial entities to provide improved solutions, including medications, devices, and therapy approaches.
On a more personal level, most people know at least one person who had a stroke. Most people have also seen the effects that stroke can have on speech, gait, hand/arm function and other voluntary movements. The realization that stroke usually leaves people with permanent disability – even after therapy that consumes time, money, and hope – can be very frustrating. This is what inspired us to develop the MoveAGAIN project.
Our overall goal is to help stroke patients and their family by providing a new approach that can supplement existing therapy approaches with direct brain stimulation to improve motor function. Our objectives are to: (1) modify existing tools to monitor EEG activity during therapy to include brain stimulation via transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS); and (2) validate these tools in real-world studies with patients.
Aiming at these objectives, we first modified the existing brain-computer interface (BCI) system from GTEC. Further, we implemented hardware and software for brain stimulation tools. Then we developed the protocols to combine the modified BCI system and tDCS/TMS. Finally, these tools were validated on healthy and patients. The results show that, together with BCI, brain stimulation techniques may accelerate the rehabilitation process of patients following stroke.
The MoveAGAIN project developed new systems and protocols for motor rehabilitation following stroke. In WP1, the advisory board was completed, and meetings were held regularly to monitor the project progress. In WP2, new protocols were developed to integrate brain stimulation techniques with the brain-computer interface, and implemented in software. In WP3, experimental protocols were setup and ethics were approved. Data were collected from both healthy and stroke patients, and analysed to show the improvements. In WP4, the project was disseminated via online activities and webinars, conferences and workshops, as well as publication and other academic/public ways.
MoveAGAIN will promote an effective approach in stroke rehabilitation with the combination of brain stimulation techniques. This approach has been successfully validated on stroke patients in a recoveriX Gym and a neurological hospital. The results indicate functional improvements in patients, which may also contribute to their quality of daily life. These promising results may promote the installation of this new tool in other recoveriX Gyms, and hospitals and rehabilitation centers worldwide, and thus induce great social and economic impacts.