Automated FES for upper limb rehabilitation following stroke and spinal cord injury

Edmund F. Hodkin*, Yuming Lei, Jonathan Humby, Isabel S. Glover, Supriyo Choudhury, Hrishikesh Kumar, Monica A Perez, Helen Rodgers, Andrew Jackson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Neurorehabilitation aims to induce beneficial neural plasticity in order to restore function following injury to the nervous system. There is an increasing evidence that appropriately timed functional electrical stimulation (FES) can promote associative plasticity, but the dosage is critical for lasting functional benefits. Here, we present a novel approach to closed-loop control of muscle stimulation for the rehabilitation of reach-to-grasp movements following stroke and spinal cord injury (SCI). We developed a simple, low-cost device to deliver assistive stimulation contingent on users' self-initiated movements. The device allows repeated practice with minimal input by a therapist, and is potentially suitable for home use. Pilot data demonstrate usability by people with upper limb weakness following SCI and stroke, and participant feedback was positive. Moreover, repeated training with the device over 1-2 weeks led to functional benefits on a general object manipulation assessment. Thus, automated FES delivered by this novel device may provide a promising and readily translatable therapy for upper limb rehabilitation for people with stroke and SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1074
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Associative plasticity
  • closed-loop
  • functional electrical stimulation
  • rehabilitation
  • spinal cord injury
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Internal Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering


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