Functional recovery from chronic writer’s cramp by brain-computer interface rehabilitation: a case report
1 Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Kitami Institute of Technology, Hokkaido, Japan
2 Asahikawa Medical University Hospital, Hokkaido, Japan
3 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine I, School of Medicine, Fujita Health University, Aichi, Japan
4 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
5 Department of Biosciences and Informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, Kanagawa, Japan
BMC Neuroscience 2014, 15:103 doi:10.1186/1471-2202-15-103Published: 1 September 2014
Dystonia is often currently treated with botulinum toxin injections to spastic muscles, or deep brain stimulation to the basal ganglia. In addition to these pharmacological or neurosurgical measures, a new noninvasive treatment concept, functional modulation using a brain-computer interface, was tested for feasibility. We recorded electroencephalograms (EEGs) over the bilateral sensorimotor cortex from a patient suffering from chronic writer’s cramp. The patient was asked to suppress an exaggerated beta frequency component in the EEG during hand extension.
The patient completed biweekly one-hour training for 5 months without any adverse effects. Significant decrease of the beta frequency component during handwriting was confirmed, and was associated with clear functional improvement.
The current pilot study suggests that a brain-computer Interface can give explicit feedback of ongoing cortical excitability to patients with dystonia and allow them to suppress exaggerated neural activity, resulting in functional recovery.