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A pilot study was conducted to test the feasibility of using electromyographic signals to drive an active orthosis for hand therapy after stroke. Five stroke survivors with chronic hemiparesis completed 18 one-hour training sessions over 6 weeks. Activation patterns of a long finger flexor muscle and a long finger extensor muscle controlled an orthosis, the J-Glove, which provided assistance to finger extension to facilitate grasp-and-release movements. Initial results showed improvement in performance on one component, lifting a can, of the Wolf Motor Function Test for every subject and on the Action Research Arm Test for three of the subjects. Excitingly, a couple of the subjects showed signs of improved muscle activation patterns, although this requires further investigation.
Date of Conference: June 29 2011-July 1 2011