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Although tremor is the most common movement disorder, there are few non-invasive treatment options. Creating effective tremor suppression devices requires a knowledge of where tremor originates mechanically (which muscles) and how it propagates through the limb (to which degrees of freedom, DOF). To simulate tremor propagation, we created a simple model of the upper limb, with tremorogenic activity in the 15 major superficial muscles as inputs and tremulous joint displacement in the 7 major DOF as outputs. The model approximated the muscle excitation-contraction dynamics, musculoskeletal geometry, and mechanical impedance of the limb. From our simulations, we determined fundamental principles for tremor propagation: 1) The distribution of tremor depends strongly on musculoskeletal dynamics. 2) The spreading of tremor is due to inertial coupling (primarily) and musculoskeletal geometry (secondarily). 3) Tremorogenic activity in a given muscle causes significant tremor in only a small subset of DOF, though these affected DOF may be distant from the muscle. 4) Assuming uniform distribution of tremorogenic activity among muscles, tremor increases proximal-distally, and the contribution from muscles increases proximal-distally. 5) Although adding inertia (e.g. with weighted utensils) is often used to suppress tremor, it is possible to increase tremor by adding inertia to the wrong DOF. 6) Similarly, adding viscoelasticity to the wrong DOF can increase tremor. Based solely on the musculoskeletal system, these principles indicate that tremor treatments targeting muscles should focus first on the distal muscles, and devices targeting DOF should focus first on the distal DOF.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of biomechanical engineering
To observe upper limb activity patterns of people with stroke during sub-acute rehabilitation to inform the development of treatment strategies for upper limb rehabilitation.
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A relatively common disorder characterized by a fairly specific pattern of tremors which are most prominent in the upper extremities and neck, inducing titubations of the head. The tremor is usually mild, but when severe may be disabling. An autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance may occur in some families (i.e., familial tremor). (Mov Disord 1988;13(1):5-10)
Incoordination of voluntary movements that occur as a manifestation of CEREBELLAR DISEASES. Characteristic features include a tendency for limb movements to overshoot or undershoot a target (dysmetria), a tremor that occurs during attempted movements (intention TREMOR), impaired force and rhythm of diadochokinesis (rapidly alternating movements), and GAIT ATAXIA. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p90)
The region of the upper limb in animals, extending from the deltoid region to the HAND, and including the ARM; AXILLA; and SHOULDER.
The venous trunk of the upper limb; a continuation of the basilar and brachial veins running from the lower border of the teres major muscle to the outer border of the first rib where it becomes the subclavian vein.
Distinct regions of mesenchymal outgrowth at both flanks of an embryo during the SOMITE period. Limb buds, covered by ECTODERM, give rise to forelimb, hindlimb, and eventual functional limb structures. Limb bud cultures are used to study CELL DIFFERENTIATION; ORGANOGENESIS; and MORPHOGENESIS.
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