2011 Volume 60 Issue 3 Pages 90-95
We evaluated the efficacy of a novel electromyogram (EMG)-controlled electrical stimulation system, called the integrated volitional control electrical stimulator (IVES), on the recovery of upper extremity motor functions in patients with chronic hemiparetic stroke. Ten participants in the chronic stage (more than 12 months post-stroke with partial paralysis of their wrist and fingers) received treatment with IVES to the extensor carpi radialis and extensor digitorum communis 6 h/day for 5 days. Before and after the intervention, participants were assessed using upper-extremity Fugl-Meyer motor assessment (FMA), the active range of motion (A-ROM), the nine-hole peg test (NHPT), and surface EMG recordings. The upper extremity FMA showed a statistically significant increase from 50.8 ° 5.8 to 56.8 ° 6.2 after the intervention (P < 0.01). The A-ROM of wrist extension was also significantly improved from 36.0° ± 15.4° to 45.0° ± 15.5° (P < 0.01). The NHPT significantly decreased from 85.3 ± 52.0 to 63.3 ± 29.7 (P = 0.04). EMG measurements demonstrated statistically significant improvements in the coactivation ratios for the wrist flexor and extensor muscles after the intervention. This study suggested that 5 days of IVES treatment yields a noticeable improvement in upper extremity motor functions in patients with chronic hemiparetic stroke.