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Title: Can the voluntary drive to a paretic muscle be estimated from the myoelectric signal during stimulation?
Author: Luo, R.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Patients with SCI sometimes recover lost function after using FES. This phenomenon, known as the carry-over effect, is not fully understood. One theory used to explain this mechanism is that electrical stimulation of the peripheral nerve causes antidromic action potentials to reach the anterior horn cells in time with the patient’s voluntary effort. This may reinforce the motor pathways and consequently restore voluntary control. However, the theory has never been properly tested and testing requires a method of measuring the voluntary drive. This project aims to find out whether it is possible to estimate the voluntary drive from measured myoelectric signals. The project is based on an FES cycling system with the ability to adjust the stimulation intensity relating to the corresponding voluntary drive. In paretic muscles, the weak voluntary contraction produces an EMG response. The EMG signal cannot be used directly as an indication of the voluntary drive because of the presence of stimulus artefact and reflexes. Two methods were investigated to estimate the voluntary drive. A time domain method was tested using RMS EMG extracted from a range of time windows following the stimulation pulse. This approach was unsatisfactory because the large variations seen in the RMS EMG amplitudes for the same power output as well as the low sensitivity of it to the change of power output. A frequency domain approach was then tested using coherence between co-contracting muscles. It was encouraging to see that the area under the coherence curve in the β band reflected changes in the power output level. However, further tests showed that this area was also greatly influenced by exercise time, becoming unpredictable after 3 minutes. In conclusion, neither of the two methods of using the myoelectric signal from muscles under stimulation is practical for the estimation of voluntary drive.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available