Wrist Rehabilitation Assisted by an Electromyography-Driven Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Robot after Stroke

Xiaoling Hu, Raymond Kai Yu Tong, Newmen S.K. Ho, Jing Jing Xue, Wei Rong, Leonard S.W. Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Augmented physical training with assistance from robot and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) may introduce intensive motor improvement in chronic stroke. Objective. To compare the rehabilitation effectiveness achieved by NMES robot-assisted wrist training and that by robot-assisted training. Methods. This study was a single-blinded randomized controlled trial with a 3-month follow-up. Twenty-six hemiplegic subjects with chronic stroke were randomly assigned to receive 20-session wrist training with an electromyography (EMG)-driven NMES robot (NMES robot group, n = 11) and with an EMG-driven robot (robot group, n = 15), completed within 7 consecutive weeks. Clinical scores, Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA), Modified Ashworth Score (MAS), and Action Research Arm Test (ARAT) were used to evaluate the training effects before and after the training, as well as 3 months later. An EMG parameter, muscle co-contraction index, was also applied to investigate the session-by-session variation in muscular coordination patterns during the training. Results. The improvement in FMA (shoulder/elbow, wrist/hand) obtained in the NMES robot group was more significant than the robot group (P <.05). Significant improvement in ARAT was achieved in the NMES robot group (P <.05) but absent in the robot group. NMES robot-assisted training showed better performance in releasing muscle co-contraction than the robot-assisted across the training sessions (P <.05). Conclusions. The NMES robot-assisted wrist training was more effective than the pure robot. The additional NMES application in the treatment could bring more improvements in the distal motor functions and faster rehabilitation progress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-776
Number of pages10
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • rehabilitation
  • robot
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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