Real-time myoelectric control of wrist/hand motion in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: A case study

Kostas Nizamis*, Anıl Ayvaz, Noortje H.M. Rijken, Bart F.J.M. Koopman, Massimo Sartori

*Corresponding author for this work

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Introduction: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disorder that induces progressive muscular degeneration. Currently, the increase in DMD individuals' life expectancy is not being matched by an increase in quality of life. The functioning of the hand and wrist is central for performing daily activities and for providing a higher degree of independence. Active exoskeletons can assist this functioning but require the accurate decoding of the users' motor intention. These methods have, however, never been systematically analyzed in the context of DMD.Methods: This case study evaluated direct control (DC) and pattern recognition (PR), combined with an admittance model. This enabled customization of myoelectric controllers to one DMD individual and to a control population of ten healthy participants during a target-reaching task in 1- and 2- degrees of freedom (DOF). We quantified real-time myocontrol performance using target reaching times and compared the differences between the healthy individuals and the DMD individual.Results and Discussion: Our findings suggest that despite the muscle tissue degeneration, the myocontrol performance of the DMD individual was comparable to that of the healthy individuals in both DOFs and with both control approaches. It was also evident that PR control performed better for the 2-DOF tasks for both DMD and healthy participants, while DC performed better for the 1-DOF tasks. The insights gained from this study can lead to further developments for the intuitive multi-DOF myoelectric control of active hand exoskeletons for individuals with DMD.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1100411
JournalFrontiers in robotics and AI
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2023

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