Quantitative evaluation of motor functional recovery process in chronic stroke patients during robot-assisted wrist training

Xiaoling Hu, K. Y. Tong, R. Song, X. J. Zheng, K. H. Lui, Woon Fong Leung, S. Ng, S. S.Y. Au-Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


This study was to investigate the motor functional recovery process in chronic stroke during robot-assisted wrist training. Fifteen subjects with chronic upper extremity paresis after stroke attended a 20-session wrist tracking training using an interactive rehabilitation robot. Electromyographic (EMG) parameters, i.e., EMG activation levels of four muscles: biceps brachii (BIC), triceps brachii (TRI, lateral head), flexor carpiradialis (FCR), and extensor carpiradialis (ECR) and their co-contraction indexes (CI) were used to monitor the neuromuscular changes during the training course. The EMG activation levels of the FCR (11.1% of decrease from the initial), BIC (17.1% of decrease from the initial), and ECR (29.4% of decrease from the initial) muscles decreased significantly during the training (P < 0.05). Such decrease was associated with decreased Modified Ashworth Scores for both the wrist and elbow joints (P < 0.05). Significant decrease (P < 0.05) was also found in CIs of muscle pairs, BIC&TRI (21% of decrease from the initial), FCR&BIC (11.3% of decrease from the initial), ECR&BIC (49.3% of decrease from the initial). The decreased CIs related to the BIC muscle were mainly caused by the reduction in the BIC EMG activation level, suggesting a better isolation of the wrist movements from the elbow motions. The decreased CI of ECR& FCR in the later training sessions (P < 0.05) was due to the reduced co-contraction phase of the antagonist muscle pair in the tracking tasks. Significant improvements (P < 0.05) were also found in motor outcomes related to the shoulder/elbow and wrist/hand scores assessed by the Fugl-Meyer assessment before and after the training. According to the evolution of the EMG parameters along the training course, further motor improvements could be obtained by providing more training sessions, since the decreases of the EMG parameters did not reach a steady state before the end of the training. The results in this study provided an objective and quantitative EMG measure to describe the motor recovery process during poststroke robot-assisted wrist for the further understanding on the neuromuscular mechanism associated with the recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-650
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009


  • Electromyography
  • Rehabilitation robot
  • Stroke
  • Wrist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology


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