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Reducing gait deficits with model-driven functional electrical stimulation


The main goal of this project is to develop a novel rehabilitation paradigm using functional electrical stimulation (FES) driven by a dynamical model of the human lower limb. We will use the model to assess the changes in active muscle forces that lead to the limited knee flexion in the paretic limb as post-stroke individuals walk. In the first year of the project, we will assess the overground and treadmill gait of post-stroke individuals and healthy individuals with and without knee restriction at Cruzeiro do Sul and West Virginia universities respectively. We will also develop a musculoskeletal dynamical (MSD) model of lower-limbs and compute muscle forces from data collected at both universities. In the second year of the project, we will develop strategies for gait intervention with FES. Researchers from Cruzeiro do Sul University will assess overground gait of post-stroke individuals walking with FES, and the researchers from West Virginia University will assess gait on a treadmill with and without FES for the validation of MSD model. We expect to show how a reduced knee flexion deficit post stroke results from the abnormal pattern of muscle activity and co-contraction that lead to a reduced active joint torque around the knee and increased joint stiffness. We further expect to show that altering the activity of different muscle groups at different times of the gait cycle in the MSD model will affect the knee angle in a predictable manner. This will instruct the most optimal FES paradigm that will improve the knee flexion of the paretic limb. This will test the potential of model-driven FES to reduce gait deficits after a stroke. (AU)

Articles published in other media outlets (1 total):
TV Cultura: JC1 - 13/02/2020 (13/Feb/2020)