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Force

A clear link between the activity in nerve clusters in the brain and the amount of force generated in a physical action has been demonstrated by Oxford researchers, opening the way for the development of better devices to assist paralysed patients.

Coordinated patterns of electrical activity in the basal ganglia – clusters of nerve cells in the brain – were shown to predict how much force is generated in the voluntary physical actions they help control, such as making a fist or raising a leg.

Working with patients who were receiving deep brain stimulation - a surgical procedure used to treat some neurological symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as tremors or rigidity – the researchers found a link between the electrical fields generated in the nerve clusters of the basal ganglia and the gripping force the patient produced. The findings could help to explain what goes wrong in conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Read more on the University of Oxford website...