Georgia Institute of Technology Creates Glove That May Improve Motility for Spinal Cord Injury Victims

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a wireless glove that was designed to improve the motor skills of the victims of a spinal cord injury. The Mobile Music Touch teaches individuals with partial paralysis in their arm or hand to play the piano by vibrating the fingers of the person wearing the device. Each vibration sends a signal to the wearer regarding which key on the piano to press next. Despite that the victims of a paralyzing accident normally see little improvement in limb movement over the course of their lives, individuals who used the Mobile Music Touch reportedly experienced improved finger motility.

In a research study conducted by Tanya Markow, PhD, the victims of spinal cord injuries were asked to practice playing the piano for 30 minutes, three days per week, for eight weeks. Half of the study participants practiced using a Mobile Music Touch, while the other half did not. The participants who learned to play the piano with the Mobile Music Touch also wore the glove an additional two hours per day, five days per week. Not only did the glove wearers learn to play the piano faster, they also made other alleged improvements.

According to Markow, some study participants regained the ability to feel the texture of fabric for the first time since suffering a paralyzing injury. Additionally, participants who used the Mobile Music Touch for eight weeks reportedly performed significantly better than those who did not on a variety of grasping and sensing tests conducted at the end of the study. Markow believes the vibrations coming from the Mobile Music Touch may trigger some level of sensory cortex activity. She said this would likely cause renewed activity in dormant portions of the motor cortex and cause the glove wearers’ improvement. In the future, Markow would like to conduct the study again using a functional MRI.

A spinal cord injury normally results in lifelong damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or discs in a victim’s back. Unfortunately, the victim of a spinal cord injury will frequently experience partial or total paralysis. In 1999, the Georgia Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund was created to help the victims of such an injury cover expenses for medical costs and other necessary services. On average, the cost of medical treatment over the course of a spinal cord trauma victim’s lifetime exceeds $1 million. Additionally, more than 60 percent of all spinal cord injury victims remain unable to work eight years after their accident. If you or a loved one was the victim of a spinal cord injury in Georgia, you should discuss your case with a competent personal injury lawyer.

If you or a family member experienced spinal cord trauma, contact the law firm of Stokes & Kopitsky today. Our dedicated Atlanta personal injury attorneys have more than 20 years of experience assisting traumatically injured clients throughout the State of Georgia. At Stokes & Kopitsky, our skilled lawyers are available to help you achieve the financial compensation you deserve following an unexpected spinal cord injury. To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation with a hardworking attorney, call Greg Stokes and Neil Kopitsky toll free at (800) 700-5050 today, or contact our capable lawyers through the law firm’s website.

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Worker Electrocuted at Richmond County School Building Construction Site, The Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney’s Blog, August 6, 2012

Georgia Supreme Court Holds Savannah Property Owner Not Liable for Alligator Attack, The Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney’s Blog, July 23, 2012

Additional Resources:

Haptic Glove Gives You Force-Feedback Piano Lessons, by Rebecca Boyle, Popular Science

Wireless glove teaches music, helps those with spinal cord injuries, FoxNews.com

Photo credit: Egilshay, Stock.xchng

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