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Related terms: Neuropathy - brachial plexus, Brachial Plexus Dysfunction, Parsonage Turner Syndrome, Brachial Plexus Avulsion, Brachial Plexitis

Three Amputees Regain Function With 'Bionic' Hands

Posted 24 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 – In what scientists say is a first, a robotic hand controlled by a patient's own muscle and nerves appears to have restored complex hand function to a trio of amputees in Austria. The three patients in question all suffered what's known as a "brachial plexus injury" to the hand following either a car crash or a mountain-climbing accident. In each case, neural connections were severed between the injured hand and a network of nerves in the neck that are crucial to hand and arm movement. However, the new high-tech "bionic" hand – outfitted with sensors that can respond to electrical impulses generated by a patient's muscles – may have returned dexterity to the three patients, doctors say. As reported Feb. 24 in The Lancet, all of the patients now have the ability to perform tasks that were previously impossible. Those tasks include pouring water from a jug, ... Read more

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