JTEHM presents

Quantifying Pathological Synergies in the Upper Extremity of Stroke Subjects With the Use of Inertial Measurement Units: A pilot Study

Abstract Background: Stroke is one of the main causes of disability in the world, causing loss of motor function on mainly one side of the body. A proper assessment of motor function is required to help to direct and evaluate therapy. Assessment is currently performed by therapists using observer-based standardized clinical assessment protocols. Sensor-based technologies can be used to objectively quantify the presence and severity of motor impairments in stroke patients. Methods: In this work, a minimally obstructive distributed inertial sensing system, intended to measure kinematics of the upper extremity, was developed and tested in a pilot study, where 10 chronic stroke subjects performed the arm-related tasks from the Fugl-Meyer Assessment protocol with the affected and non-affected side. Results: The pilot study showed that the developed distributed measurement system was adequately sensitive to show significant differences in stroke subjects’ arm postures between the affected and non-affected side. The presence of pathological synergies can be analysed using the measured joint angles of the upper limb segments, that describe the movement patterns of the subject. Conclusion: Features measured by the system vary from the assessed FMA-UE sub-score showing its potential to provide more detailed clinical information.

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