Can passive mobilization provide clinically-relevant brain stimulation? A pilot eeg and nirs study on healthy subjects

Simone Pittaccio, Lorenzo Garavaglia, Erika Molteni, Eleonora Guanziroli, Filippo Zappasodi, Elena Beretta, Sandra Strazzer, Franco Molteni, Elena Villa, Francesca Passaretti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Lower limb rehabilitation is a fundamental part of post-acute care in neurological disease. Early commencement of active workout is often prevented by paresis, thus physical treatment may be delayed until patients regain some voluntary command of their muscles. Passive mobilization of the affected joints is mostly delivered in order to safeguard tissue properties and shun circulatory problems. The present paper investigates the potential role of early passive motion in stimulating cortical areas of the brain devoted to the control of the lower limb. An electro-mechanical mobilizer for the ankle joint (Toe-Up!) was implemented utilizing specially-designed shape-memory-alloy-based actuators. This device was constructed to be usable by bedridden subjects. Besides, the slowness and gentleness of the imparted motion, make it suitable for patients in a very early stage of their recovery. The mobilizer underwent technical checks to confirm reliability and passed the required safety tests for electric biomedical devices. Four healthy volunteers took part in the pre-clinical phase of the study. The protocol consisted in measuring of brain activity by EEG and NIRS in four different conditions: rest, active dorsiflexion of the ankle, passive mobilization of the ankle, and assisted motion of the same joint. The acquired data were processed to obtain maps of cortical activation, which were then compared. The measurements collected so far show that there is a similar pattern of activity between active and passive/assisted particularly in the contralateral premotor areas. This result, albeit based on very few observations, might suggest that passive motion provides somatosensory afferences that are processed in a similar manner as for voluntary control. Should this evidence be confirmed by further trials on healthy individuals and neurological patients, it could form a basis for a clinical use of early passive exercise in supporting central functional recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS
Pages3547-3550
Number of pages4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event2013 35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2013 - Osaka, Japan
Duration: Jul 3 2013Jul 7 2013

Other

Other2013 35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2013
CountryJapan
CityOsaka
Period7/3/137/7/13

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics

Cite this

Pittaccio, S., Garavaglia, L., Molteni, E., Guanziroli, E., Zappasodi, F., Beretta, E., Strazzer, S., Molteni, F., Villa, E., & Passaretti, F. (2013). Can passive mobilization provide clinically-relevant brain stimulation? A pilot eeg and nirs study on healthy subjects. In Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS (pp. 3547-3550). [6610308] https://doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2013.6610308