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Sensational bionic arm deserves a high five

Our Newark readers who have suffered amputations might well be interested in news that researchers have created a prosthetic limb that restores touch sensations to amputees.

If the ongoing development of the prosthetics proves successful, it could herald a new era for those who have lost their jobs and careers to disabling injuries

Researchers showed video of a man who lost most of his left arm in an accident nine years ago. They had attached electrodes to remaining nerves and connected them to the new prosthetic arm. With the plastic and metal limb attached, the man was able to recognize shapes and textures, and hold on to objects with appropriate grip.

"I could feel things that I hadn't been able to feel in over nine years," the Danish man said.

He is, to date, the only one who has tested the prosthesis in a clinical trial. He tested the limb for a month, researchers said.

They published their study online in the Science Translational Medicine journal.

There are scientists around the world working on systems to restore people’s abilities to use arms, legs or prosthesis after spinal cord injuries, amputations or disease.

Even while blindfolded, the man was able to feel shapes and textures of objects, then controlling how firmly he held the items.

Let’s hope this promising technology leads to breakthroughs that restore sensations and skills to people unable to work because of loss of limbs. For many of those people, Social Security Disability is a lifeline that helps them with daily living expenses.

Appeals can be filed with the assistance of an SSDI attorney for those who have had their disability claims rejected.

Source:  Live Science, “Man Gets First Prosthetic Hand That Can Feel,” Tanya Lewis, Feb. 5, 2014

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