Phantom Limbs are For Real

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A few years ago I used to love watching the show House. And I knew watching it that everything I saw was not always accurate or realistic, like a majority of new crime and medical dramas. One episode that stayed with me from two years ago was "The Tyrant". During the episode House cures his friends landlord of a pain in his phantom arm by means of a "mirror box". I thought that it was pretty interesting, but I doubted much of the things that were going on in the show.

Two years later here I discover that phantom limbs are for real; a persons brain still believes that the arm is there and still tries to send impulses to the arm, in fact 80% of amputees say they feel phantom pain. Pains in these phantom limbs come in various forms including squeezing, boring, throbbing, burning and stabbing. I then came by that there is a real treatment for phantom pain; this treatment is using a mirror box, designed by Vilayanur Ramachandran, which one has their remaining arm in the box and they see it the reflection as if it were their own missing limb. This gives the illusion that the brain can send motor commands to the phantom pain they believe is there and the pain is relieved.

Here is a follow up article if you want to learn more...

And a pretty sweet video you should for sure check out...

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This is a fascinating and delightfully simple treatment for phantom limb pain, Danae. I need to check out the House episode.

Not sure what applications you were thinking about here in terms of your own experience (besides seeing it on TV

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This page contains a single entry by byexx102 published on October 9, 2011 4:57 PM.

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