New device designed to restore brain functions – via the tongueSubmitted by Bob-45 on Tue, 02/26/2013 - 13:07
By Ben Coxworth
February 25, 2013
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created a device known as a PoNS, that shows promise for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries, strokes, or the effects of diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. Researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command are now conducting a study on the device, which works by stimulating the patient’s tongue.
The battery-operated PoNS consists of a control/power box, and a flat electrode-covered oral portion that the patient holds in their mouth, against their tongue. In a typical 20 to 30-minute PoNS session, the patient performs a set of physical, occupational, and cognitive exercises, tailored toward their disability.
Each of those exercises are paired with specific patterns of electrodes being activated on the PoNS, which in turn stimulate individual nerve endings on the tongue – the stimulation process is referred to as cranial nerve non-invasive neuromodulation, or CN-NiNM.