Tremor, which is one of the most common movement disorders, is a repetitive movement that is caused by periodic muscle contraction and relaxation. To suppress tremors of upper-limb tremor patients, such as essential tremor (ET) patients, many kinds of devices have been developed. On the other hand, when mechanical vibration stimulation is applied to a human muscle, sustained muscle contraction, which is referred to as the tonic vibration reflex (TVR), is induced in the stimulated muscle. In this study, a novel tremor suppression method that utilizes the periodic TVR to induce muscle contraction/relaxation to generate the counterphase motion of the ET is proposed and applied to the forearm pronation-supination ET. In the proposed method, periodic vibration stimulation is applied to generate the periodic TVR in the pronator teres muscle and/or supinator muscle. First, the results confirmed that the TVR can be induced by applying mechanical vibration stimulation to the pronator teres muscle and supinator muscle since the forearm pronation-supination tremor is one of the key features of the ET. Furthermore, the findings also confirmed that the TVR intensity that is induced in these muscles can be adjusted by changing the vibration stimulation frequency. Second, the results show that the counterphase motion of the ET (i.e., periodic pronation-supination motion) can be generated by applying the proposed method. The effectiveness of the proposed method for tremor suppression is evaluated by comparing the generated motion with the ET motion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science(all)
- Materials Science(all)