Brain-Computer Interface in ALS Disease

This campaign ended on May 01, 2019, but you can still make a gift to East Tennessee State University by clicking here!

BCI Studies Giving Voice to ALS Patients

This fundraising campaign is a unique opportunity for you to directly impact ongoing research conducted by Dr. Eric Sellers and his research team at the ETSU Brain-Computer Interface Laboratory.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressively debilitating neuromuscular disease that affects over 30,000 people in the US. The loss of muscle control is relatively rapid, occurring over a period of just a few years. Patients eventually become locked in their bodies. They lose the ability to communicate other than through blinks or facial twitches. Dr. Sellers and his team are devoted to serving ALS patients and improving their quality of life. They work directly with patients referred to them by ALS clinics in the region.

The Brain-Computer Interface Laboratory at ETSU evaluates non-invasive mechanisms that make it possible for ALS patients to communicate using computers. Electrical signals from the brain are recorded from the scalp and translated into commands and language displayed on the computer monitor. Your donation allows Dr. Sellers and his research team to continue forward on their path of discovery. Progress in this critical research area makes it possible for patients to communicate through a means that does not depend solely on questions asked by their caregiver. Dr. Sellers has helped move BCI technology from the research laboratory to the home, for long-term independent patient usage. He has seen the speed with which patients can communicate move forward several-fold, most notably with the advent of predictive spellers.

ETSU's President and Brain-Computer Interface Laboratory Director participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge that swept the US in 2014 in support of ALS research. You can watch the video at the link below.

ETSU's Ice Bucket Challenge (with Dr. Noland, Dr. Dula, and Dr. Sellers)

Publications Arising from Dr. Seller's Work with BCI

Dr. Sellers is a widely recognized authority on BCI with over 50 peer-reviewed publications on the subject. He and his staff and students have given hundreds of related conference presentations. His publications are found on the Publication Link at the BCI Laboratory Home Page.

ETSU BCI Laboratory Home Page

Additional Information about BCI and its Implications in ALS are found at the links below:

Dr. Sellers is a Board Member of the BCI Society

Patients Like Me

ALS Foundation For Life

ALS Therapy Development Institute

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Donor affiliations


15% Alumni

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29% Parents

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58% Faculty/Staff

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15% Friends

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Donor list

Jody W Cheek
Janet Keener
Jon See
Janet Hatfield
Sandy Jones
Stephanie Currie

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