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New device helps stroke survivors regain sense of touch

Thanks to a new device being developed by UK researchers, stroke survivors who have lost their sense of touch, could soon regain it.

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Thanks to a new device being developed by UK researchers, stroke survivors who have lost their sense of touch, could soon regain it.

Due to the numbing of one side of the body that many stroke survivors experience, it can be hard for them to complete everyday tasks. 

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire have created a new touchpad device that delivers small vibrations to the fingertips, which triggers brain cells into healing bring back back a sense of touch in the affected limbs.

This new device has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life of a stroke survivor.

The creator of the device, Dr Amit Pujari, highlights the devices ability to help stroke survivors physical reconnect with loved ones.

He says: “Improvement in touch sensation should lead to them being able to sense that they are holding hands.”

The research surrounding the device is still in early stages, with their findings so far yet to be peer-reviewed.

Whilst presenting at the British Science Festival, Pujari explained how trial participants were asked to place their hands on the device and say whether or not they could feel the different strengths of vibrations.

Pujari says that after using the device for 10 minutes, trial participants registered a 20 to 40 per cent improvement in their sense of touch.

However, it is not yet known how long this improvement lasts for.

On the vibrations the device gives off, Pujari says: “They have been delivered, touch sensation itself, vibration touch.

“What we see is their ability to sense that vibration touch itself improves.”

Pujari also mentions by improving a persons sense of touch, it could also improve with movement. He says: “Sensory and motor is connected, and because of that improvement in sensory, from my perspective, [it is] bound to have some improvements in movement”.

The study sample featured 40 individuals who had either lost some sense of touch due to a stroke or due to diabetic neuropathy.

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