UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Controlling a motorized orthosis to follow elbow volitional movement: tests with individuals with pathological tremor Herrnstadt, Gil; McKeown, Martin J; Menon, Carlo


Background: There is a need for alternative treatment options for tremor patients who do not respond well to medications or surgery, either due to side effects or poor efficacy, or that are excluded from surgery. The study aims to evaluate feasibility of a voluntary-driven, speed-controlled tremor rejection approach with individuals with pathological tremor. The suppression approach was investigated using a robotic orthosis for suppression of elbow tremor. Importantly, the study emphasizes the performance in relation to the voluntary motion. Methods: Nine participants with either Essential Tremor (ET) or Parkinson’s disease (PD) were recruited and tested off medication. The participants performed computerized pursuit tracking tasks following a sinusoid and a random target, both with and without the suppressive orthosis. The impact of the Tremor Suppression Orthosis (TSO) at the tremor and voluntary frequencies was determined by the relative power change calculated from the Power Spectral Density (PSD). Voluntary motion was, in addition, assessed by position and velocity tracking errors. Results: The suppressive orthosis resulted in a 94.4% mean power reduction of the tremor (p 

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