Neural Prosthetic Interfaces with the Central Nervous System: Current Status and Future Prospects
Rehabilitation of sensory and/or motor functions in patients with neurological diseases is more and more dealing with artificial electrical stimulation and recording from populations of neurons using biocompatible chronic implants. For example deep brain stimulators have been implanted successfully in patients for pain management and for control of motor disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Moreover advances in artificial limbs and brain-machine interfaces are now providing hope of increased mobility and independence for amputees and paralysed patients. As more and more patients have benefited from these approaches, the interest in neural interfaces has grown significantly. However many problems have to be solved before a neuroprosthesis can be considered a viable clinical therapy or option. We discuss some of the exciting opportunities and challenges that lie in this intersection of neuroscience research, bioengineering and information and communication technologies.
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