The Underlying Scientific Research
Hi! My name is Sam Darvishi and I'm the founder of RehabSwift. Since 2006, I've been doing research on brain-computer interfaces at The Univeristy of Technology Sydney, Australia, The University of Adelaide, Australia, and The University of Tubingen, Germany.
My research on the application of brain-computer interfaces to help people with acquired brain injuries involves running a few clinical trials as follows:
1-The first question I tried to answer was "what feedback is optimal for re-learning hand movement?".
To answer the question I ran a round of clinical trials involving ten able-bodied participants, where each attended two sessions. In one session, participants controlled a moving cursor to hit a target on a screen via intending to move their hand. In a second session, the reward of intention to move their hands was seeing and feeling their hand movement using a bionic hand.
Studying their brain dynamics during neurofeedback sessions, demonstarted that rewarding the intention to move via seeing and feeling the hand movement (using the bionic hands) activated the brain far stronger than when they received only visual feedback on a screen. For further details please see the following paper:
2- After finding the optimal feedback, as mentioned above, I decided to study the effect of the delay between the intention to move and receiving feedback during neurofeedback training.
To study this factor, I invited ten able-bodied participants to attend multiple training sessions where they practiced neurofeedback training with different delays between the intention to move their hand and receiving hand movement feedback via a bionic hand.
The result of the clinical trials showed that you benefit more with shorter delays if your are fast in processing information. On the contrary, if you're slower in processing information you'd get overwhelmed with fast feedback i.e., longer delays worked better for you. To learn more about this study please see the following paper:
3- Putting together the findings of the above mentioned studies, I tested the efficacy of our novel and innovative brain-computer interface in a proof of concept study. We invited a 65-year-old stroke survivor who'd had a stroke 3.5 years prior to taking part in the study. We could significantly improve his hand movement only after attending ten neurofeedback training sessions over two weeks. For further information please refer to the following link:
4- Witnessing the very promising results of the proof of concept study, I decided to run follow up clinical trials to investigate if and how the benefit of muscle re-education can be generalised to others. To do so, we collaborated with researchers at the University of Adelaide and Central Adelaide Local Health Network and recruited 12 stroke survivors to take part in the study.
The study was completed in September 2021. The primary results are very promising and following further analysis the research is planned to be published in a reputable clinical journal.
Stay tuned to learn more about our latest research.