How to synchronize electrical stimulation with active movement to improve upper extremity function

electrical stimulation and stroke

Writing in the January edition of Brain Injury Dr. Inobe and his group from Rehabilitation Centre, Inobe Hospital , Nakao, Oita , Japan look at the effectiveness of finger-equipped electrode (FEE)-triggered electrical stimulation to improve upper extremity function in chronic stroke patients with severe hemiplegia.

It is well accepted that electric stimulation (ES) is an effective tool used by physical and occupational therapists to improve motor function in patients with severe UE function after stroke. It is also recognised that it is important for ES to be synchronized with voluntary movement or active movement ability.
One possibility is to allow the patients to trigger the ES. In this study, the trigger is on the patients finger so the technology is referred to as finger-equipped electrode or FEE triggered electrical stimulation.
This pilot study showed 4 patients and 3 controls. Each group underwent physical and occupational therapy treatment five times a week for 4 weeks. Both groups were assessed with the Fugl–Meyer Assessment (FMA) and Brunnstrom recovery staging.
The group that received the FEE triggered stimulation in addition to the traditional therapy showed a significant improvement in UE function.

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