Phantom Limbs are For Real

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I used to love the TV show House. I would watch House religiously. And I knew watching it that everything I saw was not always accurate or realistic, so I would just disregard them as made up. One episode that stayed with me from two years age was called "The Tyrant". During the episode House cures his friends landlord of a pain in his phantom arm. Immediately I thought that the technology would be so amazing, but I doubted that it actually existed, in fact I hardly knew phantom limbs existed.

Two years later here I come by that there is a real treatment for phantom pain. This treatment is using a mirror box, designed by Vilayanur Ramachandran and colleagues, which in turn reflects the remaining limb onto the other side so it appears that both limbs are present. With this illusion that the brain can again send motor commands to the phantom he or she believes that with moving their real limb the phantom limb also moves so if it has a cramp or is uncomfortable the brain almost is getting tricked into believing the arm is whole again.

If anyone is thinking why is this relevant let me tell you that this is so vital to life. In House the person he helped was a soldier, and often these people with the phantom limbs are soldiers. And these soldiers are fighting for our safety and wellbeing and they deserve to have the most comfortable lives possible given the circumstances. Much of my family fought and died or were injured and they all deserve the utmost respect and medical treatment.

Here is a follow up article if you want to learn more... http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364661302019071

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

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This page contains a single entry by byexx102 published on October 2, 2011 9:15 PM.

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