Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

November 3, 2014

Health Day News article summarizes dramatic outcomes in hand prostheses research

Jessica Hoffarth, M.S., OTR/L and the other occupational therapists at Child and Family Development were fascinated by this Health Day News article published in early October.

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Case Western Reserve University and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, both in Cleveland, are leading this research with promising outcomes. 

It summarizes the experience of a man enrolled in an experimental prosthesis program.  In a laboratory, the man can now feel textures, pressure and other sensations in his prosthetic hand, even on the index finger and thumb, he said.  His phantom pain is also signifacntly reduced. 

Researchers wanted to see if an effective connection could be made between existing nerve bundles in each patient’s arm and their artificial hands. If so, could the electrode-driven communication stimulated between the two be transmitted to the brain? The goal is to restore a lost sense of touch.