which diseases benefit the most?
There are several pathologies that, because they are associated with changes in motor function and the consequent muscle weakening, affect the ability of communication, by restricting the expression of desires, thoughts or even the
most basic needs. Below are described some pathologies that benefit from technologies that support communication by using eye tracking interface.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system, progressive and crippling, characterized by damaging motor neurons of the cortex, brain stem and spinal cord.
Clinically, the disease evolves causing weakness and progressive
atrophy of the respiratory muscles and limbs, spasticity, sleep disorders, psychosocial stress and symptoms of bulbar origin as difficulty speaking and swallowing.
The onset of symptoms occurs mostly in the age range from 55 to 65 years old. Only 10% of cases appears before 40 years of age.
Muscular dystrophies comprise a group of diseases characterized by progressive degeneration of the striated muscles, being the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) the most frequent.
Clinically, DMD is characterized by progressive loss of muscle strength, mainly in the proximal muscles of the limbs and the flexor muscles of the neck.
Clinical manifestations of DMD are present from birth but become more evident between 3 and 5 years old.
The DMD primarily affects males with an estimated incidence of 1 in 3300 boys.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is defined as a disorder of movement or posture due to a non-progressive brain damage that occurred during brain development period.
The CP is manifested especially by paralysis, incoordination and the existence of involuntary movements, symptoms often associated with cognitive and language, sensory deficit and the perception and behavioural changes.
Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) refers to an injury that affects the spinal cord, usually after a car accident, a fall or a swim. Almost immediately, it settles a more or less extensive paralysis of voluntary muscles which may lead to a reduced or absent mobility of the lower limbs (paraplegia) or four limbs (tetraplegia).
The SCI can compromise several systems, such as the nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive and urinary, digestive and excretory and integumentary (skin, hair, nails and glands) systems.
The Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a brain injury resulting from an external trauma, causing momentary or permanent brain changes of physical or cognitive nature.
Generally, the TBI may occur as a consequence of vehicle accidents, however, it can result from physical aggression, falls, injuries caused by firearms, stab, among others.
The TBI may involve damage to the scalp, skull, brain (upper portion of the spinal cord, medulla oblongata, the brain stem, cerebrum, cerebellum) and meninges.
The dominant signal is any change in the consciousness level, being the most frequent cause of death and of sequels in polytraumatized patients.
The Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurological disorder of genetic origin that almost exclusively affects females.
The most significant clinical aspects are related to psychomotor retardation, stereotyped movements, gait changes and behaviours of autistic character.
Locked-in Syndrome (LIS) is a neurological condition characterized by the total inability to speak or perform movements, with preservation of consciousness and communication skills.
The LIS is caused by injury to the lower parts of the brain not affecting the upper portion.