Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Loss and Recapture of Hand Control: Professor Jan Fridén at TEDxZurich

The sophisticated control of the human hand is not guaranteed for life. Numerous diseases and accidents may affect hand performance. One of the most dramatic losses of hand control is the high spinal cord injuries at the neck level causing complete paralysis of all four extremities. It can happen in traffic, when you are skiing or snowboarding or even at home or in your garden.

But this is not the end of the story. Life is not over and mobility can be restored using modern surgical techniques to transfer nerves and muscles to reanimate lost functions and get hand control back. Some examples of this fascinating surgery, the brain plasticity to relearn and regain hand functions are demonstrated in this talk. Most importantly, the individuals’ perception and course of motor relearning to achieve the new functions are illustrated. Increased mobility and freedom by integration of the new functions into daily activities is the ultimate treatment success.