A noninvasive neuroprosthesis augments hand grasp force in individuals with cervical spinal cord injury: The functional and therapeutic effects

Rune Thorsen, Davide Dalla Costa, Sara Chiaramonte, Luca Binda, Ettore Beghi, Tiziana Redaelli, Eugenio Occhi, Maurizio Ferrarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate myoelectrically controlled functional electrical stimulation (MeCFES) for enhancing the tenodesis grip in people with tetraplegia. The second aim was to estimate the potential number of candidates for the MeCFES device. The application of MeCFES provides the user with direct control of the grasp force as opposed to triggered FES systems. Methods. Screening 253 medical records of C5 to C7 spinal cord injury resulted in 27 participants who trained activities of daily living for 12 × 2 hours, using the MeCFES. Hand function was evaluated by the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT). Primary outcome was the ARAT change score with/without the device, before/after the intervention period. Secondary outcome was the number of positive or clinically relevant change scores with respect to the cohort. Results. The MeCFES improved hand test score in 63% of the subjects at first application. Training resulted in a significant therapeutic effect, which resulted in an overall increase of hand function in 89% of the participants and 30% experienced a clinically relevant change (6 points or more). Conclusions. Clinical relevance was found both as an assistive aid and as a therapeutic tool in rehabilitation. The therapeutic effect deserves further investigation in clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number836959
Publication statusPublished - 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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