Functional electal stimulation to control cycling movements in the lower and upper limbs - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Thur, Nov 10

Speaker: Jozsef Laczko, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Dept. of Biomechanics, Semmelweis University and Dept. of Information Technologies, Peter Pazmany Cath. University Budapest, Hungary)

Title: Functional electrical stimulation to control cycling movements in the lower and upper limbs

Abstract:  Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is usually thought of as a way to enable patients with paralyzed limbs to make goal-oriented arm movements or enable locomotion. I will present that FES can be also used for medical rehabilitation because it allows patients to do physical exercises that they would not be able to do without FES. I will especially talk about FES applications to enable patients with spinal cord injury to do cycling exercises with the upper and lower limb using an indoor ergometer or outdoor tricycle. I will give an overview of available systems, about their potential developments and finally about my own work in this field. These cycling movements are beneficial not only for improving muscle strength but also for the patient's cardiovascular, respiratory and mental fitness. The success of clinical applications depends on the positioning of stimulation electrodes and on the stimulation patterns for particular types of limb movements.

We develop a method to define and apply stimulation patterns based on 1) measured patterns of natural muscle activation (EMG) in healthy subjects and 2) on modeling of individual musculoskeletal systems and their biomechanical properties. Muscle activity patterns are defined for cycling leg movements and goal oriented arm movements. I present performance results of subjects' using various stimulation patterns. While neural control may employ fixed kinematic action patterns, differences in musculoskeletal systems of the subjects are reflected in higher variances in individual muscle activity patterns.

Host: Dr. Mussa-Ivaldi