Event Title

The Effect of Subcutaneous Electrical Stimulation on Hypertonia in Chronic Hemiparetic Stroke

Session Number

Project ID: MEDH 18

Advisor(s)

Dr. Julius Dewald, Northwestern University

Dr. Hendrik Dewald, Northwestern University

Dr. Hongchul Sohn, Northwestern University

Discipline

Medical and Health Sciences

Start Date

20-4-2022 9:30 AM

End Date

20-4-2022 9:45 AM

Abstract

After brain injury, increased levels of monoamines in the central nervous system may result in hypertonia, or increased muscle tone on the affected side. The purpose of this project is to determine how low levels of cutaneous electrical stimulation affect hypertonia in patients with chronic hemiparetic stroke.

Electromyography (EMG) data was collected from the biceps, lateral triceps, and brachioradialis muscles before and after 20 minutes of electrical stimulation over the biceps. Electrical stimulation was conducted at a frequency of 20 Hz, pulse duration 0.1 ms, and an intensity slightly below the motor threshold. Furthermore, a sham stimulation was administered for 20 minutes, and flexor/extensor activation was intermittently performed to test whether hypertonia returned.

If stimulation of cutaneous afferents can reduce hyperexcitability of motor neurons in individuals with stroke, then by electrical stimulation of the skin, we expect to see statistically significant differences in hypertonia as measured by EMGs. The results from this experiment can be used to develop new treatments for hypertonia and associated stretch reflex hyperexcitability, common and debilitating motor symptoms of chronic hemiparetic stroke.

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Apr 20th, 9:30 AM Apr 20th, 9:45 AM

The Effect of Subcutaneous Electrical Stimulation on Hypertonia in Chronic Hemiparetic Stroke

After brain injury, increased levels of monoamines in the central nervous system may result in hypertonia, or increased muscle tone on the affected side. The purpose of this project is to determine how low levels of cutaneous electrical stimulation affect hypertonia in patients with chronic hemiparetic stroke.

Electromyography (EMG) data was collected from the biceps, lateral triceps, and brachioradialis muscles before and after 20 minutes of electrical stimulation over the biceps. Electrical stimulation was conducted at a frequency of 20 Hz, pulse duration 0.1 ms, and an intensity slightly below the motor threshold. Furthermore, a sham stimulation was administered for 20 minutes, and flexor/extensor activation was intermittently performed to test whether hypertonia returned.

If stimulation of cutaneous afferents can reduce hyperexcitability of motor neurons in individuals with stroke, then by electrical stimulation of the skin, we expect to see statistically significant differences in hypertonia as measured by EMGs. The results from this experiment can be used to develop new treatments for hypertonia and associated stretch reflex hyperexcitability, common and debilitating motor symptoms of chronic hemiparetic stroke.