M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentKatz Amir
SubjectUsability of EMG Signals to Enhance Muscle Activity by FES
in CP Children
DepartmentDepartment of Biomedical Engineering
Supervisors PROFESSOR EMERITUS Joseph Mizrahi


Enhancement of muscle function in Cerebral Palsy (CP) can be achieved by Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES). FES can be applied either as a training modality (long-term muscle conditioning) or as a muscle assist (neural orthosis). The objective of this study was to examine usability of EMG signals for monitoring the effect of enhanced muscle function in children with CP by means of below-threshold FES. Special significance was attributed to the co-contraction index (CCI), derived from the EMG of two antagonist muscles, because this parameter has been considered important in motor control.  Seven children with CP (study group) and six able-bodied children (control group) took part in the experiments. In addition to conventional physiotherapy, the CP group was trained with FES to the Quads for 12 weeks. At the beginning and the end of this period the children were asked to perform alternate flexion/extension exercises of the knees, with and without FES of the quads. During exercise, the following data were obtained and compared between the groups: velocity, jerk, knee torque and CCI. Comparisons within the CP group and between the groups showed that after training, performance of the CP group significantly improved. Application of FES as an orthosis did not cause, however, significant differences.  Hence, it may be concluded that with below-threshold FES supplementing physiotherapy as a training modality is beneficial to CP.