US research hospital strarts the clinical trial of Body-Machine Interface for Recovering Muscle Control

Photo by Alexander Jawfox

The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in collaboration with National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research is commencing recruitment for the clinical trial of Body-Machine Interface for Recovering Muscle Control.

People with spinal cord injury (SCI), stroke and other neurodegenerative disorders can follow two pathways for regaining independence and quality of life. One is through clinical interventions, including therapeutic exercises. The other is provided by assistive technologies, such as wheelchairs or robotic systems. In this study, we combine these two paths within a single framework by developing a new generation of body-machine interfaces (BoMI) supporting both assistive and rehabilitative goals. The researchers focus on the recovery of muscle control by including a combination of motion and muscle activity signals in the operation of the BoMI.
When suffering from conditions affecting the central nervous system, such as spinal cord injury (SCI), stroke or neurodegenerative disorders, two pathways are available for regaining independence and quality of life. One way is through clinical interventions, including therapeutic exercises, often in combination with pharmacological agents. The other is provided by assistive technologies, such as wheelchairs or robotic systems. These two approaches have conflicting characteristics. While rehabilitation exercises challenge patients to use the most affected parts of their musculoskeletal apparatus, assistive technologies are typically designed to bypass the disability. This has led to divergent research domains.

The researchers plan to develope a new generation of body-machine interfaces (BoMI) supporting both assistive and rehabilitative goals. BMIs will translate movement signals and muscle activities of the user into control signals for assistive devices and computer systems. State-of-the-art systems for surface electromyography (EMG) and movement recording (IMU) will be integrated through machine learning techniques to facilitate sensorimotor learning while providing the means to promote or reduce the use of targeted muscles. New comprehensive assessment techniques will be developed by integrating standard measure of function - as the manual muscle test - with EMG analysis and non-invasive magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) (Magstim 200 Bistim, Whitland, UK).

The study start date is January 20, 2020.

The study will take place at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60611.

The page dedicated to this clinical trial can be found here: https://ichgcp.net/clinical-trials-registry/NCT04641793

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