Attenuation of pathological tremors by functional electrical stimulation II: Clinical evaluation
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In this study we evaluated a technique for tremor suppression with functional electrical stimulation (FES), the technical details of which were described in the previous paper. Three groups of patients were investigated: those with essential tremor, parkinsonian tremor, and cerebellar tremor associated with multiple sclerosis. In each group, tremor was attenuated by significant amounts (essential tremor: 73%; parkinsonian tremor: 62%; cerebellar tremor: 38%). These attenuations were in good accord with predictions based on the dynamic analyses and filter designs derived in the previous paper. With filters “tuned” to the lower mean tremor frequency encountered in the cerebellar patients, more attenuation was possible in this group as well. We identified some practical limitations in the clinical application of the technique in its present form. The most important was that in daily use, only one antagonist pair of muscles can realistically be controlled. At first sight, this restricts the usefulness of the system to patients with single-joint tremors. However, the concomitant use of mechanical orthoses may broaden the scope of application.
KeywordsTremor suppression Cerebellum
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