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Title: Development and clinical testing of home-based brain-computer interfaces for neurofeedback and for rehabilitation
Author: Al-Taleb, Manaf Kadum Hussein
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 3845
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2018
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Many studies have shown that brain-computer interface (BCI) technology is a potentially powerful tool for the rehabilitation of various psychological and neurological conditions, including restoration of movement and treatment of neuropathic pain (NP). However, most of these studies rely on expensive equipment, limiting its application to labs and hospital environments. Therefore, making BCI applications more readily available to patients is the main focus of this thesis. The aim of this study is to develop and assess two inexpensive, wearable neurorehabilitation systems that can be used for patient managed home-based therapy and are based on a portable brain-computer interface (PBCI) for neurofeedback (NF) applications. Both systems are inspired by neurorehabilitation protocols that have been previously tested on patients using laboratory BCI technology. The brain-computer interface systems are based on a wireless EEG system called EPOC, a Windows PC tablet and custom-made software developed under Visual C++. Both of these systems consist of portable BCI, one for neurofeedback (BCI-NF) and the other for controlling functional electrical stimulation (BCI-FES). System development followed the standard steps of user-centred design, while system testing followed the procedures for adopting new services or technologies, aiming to increase the usability of the BCI system in a patient population. The assessment phase, and in particular the assessment of PBCI-NF, included a systematic analysis of the main requirements and barriers for providing home-based BCI as a patient service, including training and support. The results of these chapters provide important feedback on usage patterns and technical problems, which could not be collected based on patients’ BCI experiences in laboratory or clinical trials. The ability to self-regulate brain waves was tested on able-bodied participants and patients with NP. Within the user-centred design frame, the effectiveness, efficiency, and user acceptance of BCI-NF were demonstrated on patients. The treatment was found to be comparable with the effectiveness of widely used pain drugs, with 53% of patients experiencing a clinically significant reduction in pain. The feasibility BCI-FES study on able-bodied participants and SCI tetraplegic patients demonstrated a high success rate in recognising motor intention within a single training session. This demonstrates the intuitiveness of the BCI-FES protocol, making it potentially suitable for extended, patient-managed hand therapy. In conclusion, this thesis demonstrated that SCI patients are able to use a BCI system on their own or through help from their caregiver in a home environment. It also demonstrated that the NF treatment has a positive effect on the reduction of CNP on SCI patients. In addition, this thesis presents promising results of home-based BCI systems in the rehabilitation domain and presents the first step in developing and testing consumer-grade BCI systems for rehabilitation purposes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: T Technology (General)