Body machine interfaces (BMIs) are used by people with severe motor disabilities to control external devices, but they also offer the opportunity to focus on rehabilitative goals. In this study we introduced in a clinical setting a BMI that was integrated by the therapists in the rehabilitative treatments of 2 spinal cord injured (SCI) subjects for 5 weeks. The BMI mapped the user's residual upper body mobility onto the two coordinates of a cursor on a screen. By controlling the cursor, the user engaged in playing computer games. The BMI allowed the mapping between body and cursor spaces to be modified, gradually challenging the user to exercise more impaired movements. With this approach, we were able to change our subjects' behavior, who initially used almost exclusively their proximal upper body-shoulders and arms - for using the BMI. By the end of training, cursor control was shifted toward more distal body regions - forearms instead of upper arms - with an increase of mobility and strength of all the degrees of freedom involved in the control. The clinical tests and the electromyographic signals from the main muscles of the upper body confirmed the positive effect of the training. Encouraging the subjects to explore different and sometimes unusual movement combinations was beneficial for recovering distal arm functions and for increasing their overall mobility.

Changes in neuromuscular activity during motor training with a body-machine interface after spinal cord injury

Pierella, C.;De Luca, A.;Tasso, E.;Gamba, S.;Muller, I.;Massone, A.;Casadio, M.
2017

Abstract

Body machine interfaces (BMIs) are used by people with severe motor disabilities to control external devices, but they also offer the opportunity to focus on rehabilitative goals. In this study we introduced in a clinical setting a BMI that was integrated by the therapists in the rehabilitative treatments of 2 spinal cord injured (SCI) subjects for 5 weeks. The BMI mapped the user's residual upper body mobility onto the two coordinates of a cursor on a screen. By controlling the cursor, the user engaged in playing computer games. The BMI allowed the mapping between body and cursor spaces to be modified, gradually challenging the user to exercise more impaired movements. With this approach, we were able to change our subjects' behavior, who initially used almost exclusively their proximal upper body-shoulders and arms - for using the BMI. By the end of training, cursor control was shifted toward more distal body regions - forearms instead of upper arms - with an increase of mobility and strength of all the degrees of freedom involved in the control. The clinical tests and the electromyographic signals from the main muscles of the upper body confirmed the positive effect of the training. Encouraging the subjects to explore different and sometimes unusual movement combinations was beneficial for recovering distal arm functions and for increasing their overall mobility.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/893613
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