Brain Computer Interfaces for Improving the Quality of Life of Older Adults and Elderly Patients

Abdelkader Nasreddine Belkacem, Nuraini Jamil, Jason A. Palmer, Sofia Ouhbi, Chao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


All people experience aging, and the related physical and health changes, including changes in memory and brain function. These changes may become debilitating leading to an increase in dependence as people get older. Many external aids and tools have been developed to allow older adults and elderly patients to continue to live normal and comfortable lives. This mini-review describes some of the recent studies on cognitive decline and motor control impairment with the goal of advancing non-invasive brain computer interface (BCI) technologies to improve health and wellness of older adults and elderly patients. First, we describe the state of the art in cognitive prosthetics for psychiatric diseases. Then, we describe the state of the art of possible assistive BCI applications for controlling an exoskeleton, a wheelchair and smart home for elderly people with motor control impairments. The basic age-related brain and body changes, the effects of age on cognitive and motor abilities, and several BCI paradigms with typical tasks and outcomes are thoroughly described. We also discuss likely future trends and technologies to assist healthy older adults and elderly patients using innovative BCI applications with minimal technical oversight.

Original languageEnglish
Article number692
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - Jun 30 2020


  • EEG
  • brain computer interface
  • cognitive aging
  • elderly patients
  • motor impairment
  • older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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