What's New

The MAL has launched a study entitled “EMG modules as a novel biomarker of basal ganglia plasticity in Parkinson’s disease”. The study funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation aims to identify specific characteristics of muscle activity that could be linked to changes within the brain that are associated with Parkinson’s disease.

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300 First Avenue 3rd Floor, Room 3297
Charlestown, MA 02129

For Clinical Appointments & Referrals:
Susan Regan
(617) 952-6204

For Research Study Information:
Call our Volunteer Registry Line at
(617) 952-6331

Research

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Wrist Worn Sensors

Stroke is the leading cause of severe long-term disability in the United States, affecting more than 635,000 people in a year alone.  Often with stroke, comes the debilitating loss of motor control that is often more pronounced in one limb than the other. With this loss, patients tend to stop using their affected limb and favor the less or unaffected limb. This creates a phenomenon that is referred to as, learned non-use. Learned non-use is referred to when, patients continue to favor their unaffected limb, causing the rehabilitation of the affected limb to become compromised.

An emerging therapeutic approach called Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) involves constraining the unaffected limb, thereby forcing the patient to use the affected limb. CIMT is intended for stroke survivors who retain the ability to flex their wrist and move their arm and fingers. Although only 20-25% of stroke survivors may be eligible for CIMT, it has been shown to prevent and or reverse, learned non-use.

Here at the Motion Analysis Lab, we are conducting a study, in order to develop a stroke rehabilitation bracelet. This technology is being developed with the hope to encourage the use of the affected limb during activities of daily living, without physically constraining the unaffected limb. We intend to create two small wrist worn biofeedback devices, with the following key features: real-time visual and vibrotactile feedback to encourage the affected limb to be used during daily activities, reminders to perform daily prescribed motor control exercises in the home environment, and the assessment of the quality of the limb movement during these exercises to give therapists objective data that they can use to provide feedback to patients during follow-up clinical visits. The proposed system, if found feasible can help expand the rehabilitation environment, along with a low-cost continuous rehabilitation programs for patients.

The study will consist of one testing session, which will last up to three hours, and will take place at the Motion Analysis Lab at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. All individuals must undergo an initial phone screen, must meet all inclusion criteria and must undergo a final in-person screen to determine eligibility.

Inclusion Criteria

  • · Adults between the ages of 21-80
  • · Have suffered from an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke at least 2 weeks prior to study enrollment
  • · Have a mobility affected limb.
  • · Healthy adults between the ages of 21-80.

Exclusion Criteria

  • · Have open lesions, poor skin conditions, rashes, dermatitis or fungi on the arm.

If you are interested in this study and would like to participate or learn more, please contact the Motion Analysis Volunteer line at 617-952-6331. Please do not hesitate to call with any questions or concerns, which you may have.