Brain cell destruction following a stroke is common and often leads to
loss of some motor function.
Repetitive exercise therapy is then used to recruit other neurons to
take on the task.
MIT's robotic brace helps exploit this under-appreciated neural
adaption by strengthening
the feedback loop between the brain and limbs.
EMG sensors within the brace monitor muscle activity and command
actuators to assist with the desired motion.
A study to appear in the April 2007 issue of the
American Journal of Physical
Medicine & Rehabilitation
showed the robotic brace improved severely impaired arm function by 23%
on average and
greatly reduced muscle tightness.