Sensory electrical nerve stimulation for training dynamic balance responses in a chronic stroke patient

Worms, G., Matjacic, Z., Gollee, H. , Cikajlo, I., Goljar, N. and Hunt, K.J. (2011) Sensory electrical nerve stimulation for training dynamic balance responses in a chronic stroke patient. Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, 31(1), pp. 19-29. (doi: 10.5405/jmbe.666)

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We propose a novel method for applying sensory electrical stimulation during perturbed stance in subjects with neurological impairment. The feasibility of this methodology was investigated in a case study with one chronic stroke patient. A dynamic standing frame was modified with electrical actuators which allow the application of unexpected perturbations to neurologically impaired people during standing, while protecting the subject from falling. The subject underwent two different periods of perturbation training, each lasting ten days. During the first period, the subject was perturbed in eight different directions. During the second period, the subject was also perturbed, but was assisted by sensory electrical stimulation of the soleus (SOL), tibialis anterior (TA), tensor fascia latae (TFL), and vastus muscles (VAS) in the impaired leg. After each period of training, an assessment was carried out to measure the forces the subject applied on the ground via two force plates and the EMG responses of the SOL, TA, TFL, and VAS muscles. The subject improved his ability to balance throughout the training, with the largest improvements occurring during the final period when sensory electrical stimulation was used. These observations verify the feasibility of the approach and suggest that sensory electrical stimulation may have a beneficial effect on balance training. Recommendations for further studies to verify the method in larger subject groups are given.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hunt, Prof Kenneth and Gollee, Dr Henrik
Authors: Worms, G., Matjacic, Z., Gollee, H., Cikajlo, I., Goljar, N., and Hunt, K.J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering
Journal Abbr.:J Med Biol Eng
Publisher:Zhonghua Minguo Shengwu Yixue Gongcheng Xuehui

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
315671Integrated voluntary control of unsupported paraplegic standingKenneth HuntEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)GR/R79234/01School of Engineering