Over the past 20 years, several patients with ALS and LIS have been trained with BCI not only in research laboratories, but also in their home. Birbaumer et al. (1999) first developed a communication system for completely paralyzed patients with ALS that employed SCP to drive an electronic spelling device. Two patients were trained to produce voluntarily
positive and negative SCPs and were provided by visual feedback. After achieving at least 75% control, they began to use the spelling device, in which letters were presented on a screen. Patients Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical selected a letter by progressively reducing letter strings containing the desired letter by creating SCPs after its appearance. Many other studies described BCI systems based on self-regulation of SCPs in patients with physical impairment, thus supporting that these patients are able to learn to control changes in their SCPs accurately in a sufficient way to operate an electronic Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical spelling device (Kubler et al. 2001a, b; Wolpaw et al. 2002; Birbaumer et al. 2003). Although letter selection is slow—1 min for 1,
2 letters—it is reliable and precise enough to allow patients to communicate. Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Other researchers did extensive experiments using BCI based on SMR rather than on SCP. Wolpaw and McFarland (2004) demonstrated that a SMR-based BCI provides subjects with spinal cord injuries with multidimensional control of a cursor movement on a computer screen that could be ATM Kinase Inhibitor in vitro learned in a few sessions of training. The speed, accuracy, and learning performance were comparable to those of invasive Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical BCIs. Kübler et al. (2005) showed that four patients with ALS learned to operate a BCI with rhythms recorded over sensorimotor cortex and suggested that this kind of BCI system could help ALS patients maintain a fairly good QoL. To confirm these encouraging results, other studies have confronted
patients with various types of BCI to provide them with a system that Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical works best for each individual subject. In a study investigating the effects of psychological state and motivation on BCI performance in ALS, Nijboer et al. (2010) made a comparison between SMR- and P300-BCI paradigms in order to assess which paradigm could be used by most patients. Unoprostone A higher information transfer rate with the P300-BCI, than with the SMR-BCI was found. Moreover, this information transfer rate could be achieved by patients after only one session with P300-based BCI, whereas the use of SMR-BCI required more extensive training (10 training session). These results support the hypothesis that P300 BCI requires no learning, while SMR regulation is a skill that has to be learned by training. Therefore, P300-BCI seems to be superior to the SMR-BCI for quick and reliable communication. Other studies evaluated the effectiveness of BCI systems that operate by detecting a P300 signal.