On Muscle Activation for Improving Robotic Rehabilitation after Spinal Cord Injury

Richard Cheng, Yanan Sui, Dimitry Sayenko, Joel W. Burdick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has recently enabled humans with motor complete spinal cord injury (SCI) to independently stand and recover some lost autonomic function. However, the nature of the recovered motor activity and the interplay between SCS and motor training are not well understood. Understanding the effect of stand training and spinal stimulation on motor activity during bipedal standing is important for designing spinal rehabilitation therapies that seek to combine spinal stimulation and rehabilitative robots. In this study, we examined electromyography (EMG) data gathered from two SCI patients and six healthy subjects as they attempted standing. We analyzed the muscle activation patterns and EMG waveform shape to quantify both the changes in SCI patient motor activity with training, and the differences between healthy motor activity and SCI patient motor activity under stimulation. We also looked for correlations between the similarity in SCI patients' motor activity to healthy subjects and their overall standing ability. We found that good standing in SCI patients does not emulate healthy standing muscle activity. Furthermore, patient stand training heavily influenced motor activation patterns, but not in ways that improved standing ability. These results indicate that current training techniques do not optimally influence motor activity, and robotic rehabilitation strategies for SCI patients should target essential features of motor activity to optimize functional performance, rather than emulate healthy activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages798-805
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781538680940
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 27 2018
Event2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2018 - Madrid, Spain
Duration: Oct 1 2018Oct 5 2018

Other

Other2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2018
CountrySpain
CityMadrid
Period10/1/1810/5/18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications

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