News Releases & Research Results Relief of phantom pain in hands lost in accidents by training to change brain activities - Novel treatment by a technology to move phantom limbs using brain signals -

News Releases & Research Results


The results of research conducted by Professor Takufumi Yanagisawa of the Institute of Advanced Co-Creation Studies and Specially Appointed Professor Youichi Saitoh of the Department of Neuromodulation and Neurosurgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University.

The key results of research are as follows:

  • Treatment that may relieve phantom limb pain* was developed by training to change brain activities associated with phantom limbs using a brain–computer interface (BCI), a technology to move phantom limbs using brain signals.
    *Phantom limb pains refer to ongoing painful sensations in arms lost in accidents. They occur in about 50-80% of people with amputated upper limbs and cannot be treated with analgesics. No effective treatment is available.
  • Specifically, virtual phantom limbs that could be moved through brain signals were realized by BCI technology. After 3 days of the training, phantom limb pains were successfully relieved by more than 30% for 5 days.
  • In the future, BCI training with the same effects should be developed more conveniently for clinical application.

This program was conducted with the support of the Strategic International Brain Science Research Promotion Program by AMED.

The results of this research project were published in the American scientific journal Neurology on July 17.


Yanagisawa T., et al. BCI training to move a virtual hand reduces phantom limb pain: A randomized crossover trial Neurology


Last updated 07/17/20