An electromyography (EMG)-driven electromechanical robot system integrated with neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) was developed for wrist training after stroke. The performance of the system in assisting wrist flexion/extension tracking was evaluated on five chronic stroke subjects, when the system provided five different schemes with or without NMES and robot assistance. The tracking performances were measured by range of motion (ROM) of the wrist and root mean squared error (RMSE). The performance is better when both NMES and robot assisted in the tracking than those with either NMES or robot only (P< 0.05). The muscle co-contractions in the upper limb measured by EMG were reduced when NMES provided assistance (P< 0.05). All subjects also attended a 20-session wrist training for evaluating the training effects (3-5. times/week). The results showed improvements on the voluntary motor functions in the hand, wrist and elbow functions after the training, as indicated by the clinical scores of Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Action Research Arm Test, Wolf Motor Function Test; and also showed reduced spasticity in the wrist and the elbow as measured by the Modified Ashworth Score of each subject. After the training, the co-contractions were reduced between the flexor carpi radialis and extensor carpi radialis, and between the biceps brachii and triceps brachii. Assistance from the robot helped improve the movement accuracy; and the NMES helped increase the muscle activation for the wrist joint and suppress the excessive muscular activities from the elbow joint. The NMES-robot assisted wrist training could improve the hand, wrist, and elbow functions.
- Functional scores
- Neuromuscular electrical stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Neurology