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Electromyographic (EMG) feedback during AMES treatment of individuals with severe neuromuscular deficits

A method of rehabilitating a patient suffering partial or total loss of motor control of an appendicular joint caused by injury or neurological disorder but exhibiting clinically plegic (i.e., paralyzed) muscles and retaining minimal ability to weakly contract the muscles develops overt movement at a joint and ultimately leads to improved functionality. The method entails use of feedback in which the patient views and/or hears a signal related to the intensity of electromyographic (EMG) activity the patient produces in the appropriate muscles while attempting to move the paretic or plegic joint. The method is intended as an alternative form of feedback for highly disabled patients while they receive therapy using an Assisted Movement with Enhanced Sensation (AMES) device providing joint torque feedback. The invention pertains to the use of therapy termed “AMES,” or Assisted Movement with Enhanced Sensation, of a type described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,878,122 in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury.

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