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Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation

Alyssa Whelan, Andrew Sexton, Melony Jones, Colleen O'Connell, Chris A McGibbon
BACKGROUND: The pendulum test is commonly used to quantify knee extensor spasticity, but it is currently unknown to what extent common pendulum test metrics can detect spasticity in patients with neurological injury or disease, and if the presence of flexor spasticity influences the test outcomes. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was conducted on 131 knees, from 93 patients, across four different patient cohorts. Clinical data included Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) scores for knee extensors and flexors, and years since diagnosis...
July 18, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Gyrd Thrane, Margit Alt Murphy, Katharina Stibrant Sunnerhagen
BACKGROUND: Most motor function improvements in people who have experienced strokes occur within the first 3 months. However, individuals showing complete or nearly complete arm function recovery, as assessed using clinical scales, still show certain movement kinematic deficits at 3 months, post-stroke. This study evaluated the changes in upper extremity kinematics, in individuals demonstrating minor clinical motor impairments, 3-12 months post-stroke, and also examined the association between kinematics and the subjects's self-perceived hand abilities during the chronic stage, 12 months post-stroke...
July 18, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Sangjun Lee, Jinsoo Kim, Lauren Baker, Andrew Long, Nikos Karavas, Nicolas Menard, Ignacio Galiana, Conor J Walsh
BACKGROUND: Soft exosuits are a recent approach for assisting human locomotion, which apply assistive torques to the wearer through functional apparel. Over the past few years, there has been growing recognition of the importance of control individualization for such gait assistive devices to maximize benefit to the wearer. In this paper, we present an updated version of autonomous multi-joint soft exosuit, including an online parameter tuning method that customizes control parameters for each individual based on positive ankle augmentation power...
July 13, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Le Yu Liu, Youlin Li, Anouk Lamontagne
Despite upper extremity function playing a crucial role in maintaining one's independence in activities of daily living, upper extremity impairments remain one of the most prevalent post-stroke deficits. To enhance the upper extremity motor recovery and performance among stroke survivors, two training paradigms in the fields of robotics therapy involving modifying haptic feedback were proposed: the error-augmentation (EA) and error-reduction (ER) paradigms. There is a lack of consensus, however, as to which of the two paradigms yields superior training effects...
July 4, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Yasuto Inukai, Mitsuhiro Masaki, Naofumi Otsuru, Kei Saito, Shota Miyaguchi, Sho Kojima, Hideaki Onishi
BACKGROUND: Balance disorders are a risk factor for falls in the elderly. Although noisy galvanic vestibular stimulation (nGVS) has been reported to improve balance in young people, randomised control trials targeting community-dwelling elderly people have not been conducted to date. We aimed to assess the influence of nGVS on COP sway in the open-eye standing posture among community-dwelling elderly people in a randomised controlled trial. METHODS: A randomised controlled trial of 32 community-dwelling elderly people randomly assigned to control (sham stimulation) and an nGVS groups...
July 3, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Leonardo Cappello, Jan T Meyer, Kevin C Galloway, Jeffrey D Peisner, Rachael Granberry, Diana A Wagner, Sven Engelhardt, Sabrina Paganoni, Conor J Walsh
BACKGROUND: Spinal cord injury is a devastating condition that can dramatically impact hand motor function. Passive and active assistive devices are becoming more commonly used to enhance lost hand strength and dexterity. Soft robotics is an emerging discipline that combines the classical principles of robotics with soft materials and could provide a new class of active assistive devices. Soft robotic assistive devices enable a human-robot interaction facilitated by compliant and light-weight structures...
June 28, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Iason Batzianoulis, Nili E Krausz, Ann M Simon, Levi Hargrove, Aude Billard
BACKGROUND: Active upper-limb prostheses are used to restore important hand functionalities, such as grasping. In conventional approaches, a pattern recognition system is trained over a number of static grasping gestures. However, training a classifier in a static position results in lower classification accuracy when performing dynamic motions, such as reach-to-grasp. We propose an electromyography-based learning approach that decodes the grasping intention during the reaching motion, leading to a faster and more natural response of the prosthesis...
June 26, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Rick de Klerk, Thijs Lutjeboer, Riemer J K Vegter, Lucas H V van der Woude
BACKGROUND: Regular handrim wheelchair (RHW) propulsion is straining for the upper extremities and wheelchair users often experience overuse problems. A recent advancement in wheelchair technology that could assist users is the pushrim-activated power-assisted wheelchair (PAPAW). PAPAWs are challenging to control, yet it is unclear how people learn to use a PAPAW. The purpose of this study is to examine early skill acquisition through practice in PAPAWs and compare it with RHWs. METHODS: Twenty-four able-bodied novices were randomly allocated to either the RHW group or the PAPAW group...
June 26, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Taeyong Sim, Hakje Yoo, Dongjun Lee, Seung-Woo Suh, Jae Hyuk Yang, Hyunggun Kim, Joung Hwan Mun
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to quantitatively analyze quite standing postural stability of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients in respect to three sensory systems (visual, vestibular, and somatosensory). METHOD: In this study, we analyzed the anterior-posterior center of pressure (CoP) signal using discrete wavelet transform (DWT) between AIS patients (n = 32) and normal controls (n = 25) during quiet standing. RESULT: The energy rate (∆E EYE %) of the CoP signal was significantly higher in the AIS group than that in the control group at levels corresponding to vestibular and somatosensory systems (p < 0...
June 22, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Salil Apte, Michiel Plooij, Heike Vallery
BACKGROUND: Body weight support (BWS) systems have shown promise as rehabilitation tools for neurologically impaired individuals. This paper reviews the experiment-based research on BWS systems with the aim: (1) To investigate the influence of body weight unloading (BWU) on gait characteristics; (2) To study whether the effects of BWS differ between treadmill and overground walking and (3) To investigate if modulated BWU influences gait characteristics less than unmodulated BWU. METHOD: A systematic literature search was conducted in the following search engines: Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar...
June 20, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Ling-Fung Yeung, Corinna Ockenfeld, Man-Kit Pang, Hon-Wah Wai, Oi-Yan Soo, Sheung-Wai Li, Kai-Yu Tong
BACKGROUND: Robot-assisted ankle-foot-orthosis (AFO) can provide immediate powered ankle assistance in post-stroke gait training. Our research team has developed a novel lightweight portable robot-assisted AFO which is capable of detecting walking intentions using sensor feedback of wearer's gait pattern. This study aims to investigate the therapeutic effects of robot-assisted gait training with ankle dorsiflexion assistance. METHODS: This was a double-blinded randomized controlled trial...
June 19, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Yoav Beck, Talia Herman, Marina Brozgol, Nir Giladi, Anat Mirelman, Jeffrey M Hausdorff
BACKGROUND: Impairments in biomechanics and neural control can disrupt the timing and muscle pattern activation necessary for smooth gait. Gait is one of the most affected motor characteristics in Parkinson's disease (PD), but its smoothness has not been well-studied. This work applies the recently proposed spectral arc length measure (SPARC) to study, for the first time, gait in patients with PD. We hypothesized that the gait of patients with PD would be less smooth than that of healthy controls, as reflected in the SPARC measures...
June 18, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Amber R Emmens, Edwin H F van Asseldonk, Herman van der Kooij
BACKGROUND: Lower extremity exoskeletons are mainly used to provide stepping support, while balancing is left to the user. Designing balance controllers is one of the biggest challenges in the development of exoskeletons. The goal of this study was to design and evaluate a balance controller for a powered ankle-foot orthosis and assess its effect on the standing balance of healthy subjects. METHODS: We designed and implemented a balance controller based on the subject's body sway...
June 18, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Jorge M Zuniga, Katsavelis Dimitrios, Jean L Peck, Rakesh Srivastava, James E Pierce, Drew R Dudley, David A Salazar, Keaton J Young, Brian A Knarr
BACKGROUND: Co-contraction is the simultaneous activation of agonist and antagonist muscles that produces forces around a joint. It is unknown if the use of a wrist-driven 3D printed transitional prostheses has any influence on the neuromuscular motor control strategies of the affected hand of children with unilateral upper-limb reduction deficiencies. Thus, the purpose of the current investigation was to examine the coactivation index (CI) of children with congenital upper-limb reduction deficiencies before and after 6 months of using a wrist-driven 3D printed partial hand prosthesis...
June 8, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Mike D Rinderknecht, Olivier Lambercy, Vanessa Raible, Imke Büsching, Aida Sehle, Joachim Liepert, Roger Gassert
BACKGROUND: Proprioceptive function can be affected after neurological injuries such as stroke. Severe and persistent proprioceptive impairments may be associated with a poor functional recovery after stroke. To better understand their role in the recovery process, and to improve diagnostics, prognostics, and the design of therapeutic interventions, it is essential to quantify proprioceptive deficits accurately and sensitively. However, current clinical assessments lack sensitivity due to ordinal scales and suffer from poor reliability and ceiling effects...
June 7, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Roger Gassert, Volker Dietz
The past decades have seen rapid and vast developments of robots for the rehabilitation of sensorimotor deficits after damage to the central nervous system (CNS). Many of these innovations were technology-driven, limiting their clinical application and impact. Yet, rehabilitation robots should be designed on the basis of neurophysiological insights underlying normal and impaired sensorimotor functions, which requires interdisciplinary collaboration and background knowledge.Recovery of sensorimotor function after CNS damage is based on the exploitation of neuroplasticity, with a focus on the rehabilitation of movements needed for self-independence...
June 5, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Seoyoung Choi, Yong Beom Shin, Soo-Yeon Kim, Jonghyun Kim
BACKGROUND: To provide effective interventions for spasticity, accurate and reliable spasticity assessment is essential. For the assessment, the Modified Tardieu Scale (MTS) has been widely used owing to its simplicity and convenience. However, it has poor or moderate accuracy and reliability. METHODS: We proposed a novel inertial measurement unit (IMU)-based MTS assessment system to improve the accuracy and reliability of the MTS itself. The proposed system consists of a joint angle calculation algorithm, a function to detect abnormal muscle reaction (a catch and clonus), and a visual biofeedback mechanism...
June 4, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Daniel Schließmann, Maria Nisser, Christian Schuld, Till Gladow, Steffen Derlien, Laura Heutehaus, Norbert Weidner, Ulrich Smolenski, Rüdiger Rupp
BACKGROUND: Walking disabilities negatively affect inclusion in society and quality of life and increase the risk for secondary complications. It has been shown that external feedback applied by therapists and/or robotic training devices enables individuals with gait abnormalities to consciously normalize their gait pattern. However, little is known about the effects of a technically-assisted over ground feedback therapy. The aim of this study was to assess whether automatic real-time feedback provided by a shoe-mounted inertial-sensor-based gait therapy system is feasible in individuals with gait impairments after incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI), stroke and in the elderly...
May 29, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Mark Brinton, Yossi Mandel, Ira Schachar, Daniel Palanker
BACKGROUND: Electrical vasoconstriction is a promising approach to control blood pressure or restrict bleeding in non-compressible wounds. We explore the neural and non-neural pathways of electrical vasoconstriction in-vivo. METHODS: Charge-balanced, asymmetric pulses were delivered through a pair of metal disc electrodes. Vasoconstriction was assessed by measuring the diameter of rat saphenous vessels stimulated with low-voltage (20 V, 1 ms) and high-voltage (150 V, 10 μs) stimuli at 10 Hz for 5 min...
May 29, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
Jeffrey R Koller, C David Remy, Daniel P Ferris
BACKGROUND: Controllers for assistive robotic devices can be divided into two main categories: controllers using neural signals and controllers using mechanically intrinsic signals. Both approaches are prevalent in research devices, but a direct comparison between the two could provide insight into their relative advantages and disadvantages. We studied subjects walking with robotic ankle exoskeletons using two different control modes: dynamic gain proportional myoelectric control based on soleus muscle activity (neural signal), and timing-based mechanically intrinsic control based on gait events (mechanically intrinsic signal)...
May 25, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
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