Keywords

Essential tremor; upper limb; motor control; inverse kinematics

Abstract

Background

Despite the pervasive and devastating effect of Essential Tremor (ET), the distribution of ET throughout the upper limb is unknown. We developed a method for characterizing the distribution of ET and performed a preliminary characterization in a small number of subjects with ET.

Methods

Using orientation sensors and inverse kinematics, we measured tremor in each of the seven major degrees of freedom (DOF) from the shoulder to the wrist while ten patients with mild ET assumed 16 different postures. We described the tremor in each DOF in terms of power spectral density measures and investigated how tremor varied between DOF, postures, gravitational torques, and repetitions.

Findings

Our method successfully resulted in tremor measures in each DOF, allowing one to compare tremor between DOF and determine the distribution of tremor throughout the upper limb, including how the distribution changes with posture. In our small number of subjects, we found that the amount of power in the frequency band associated with ET (4-12 Hz) was lowest in the shoulder and greatest in the wrist. Similarly, the existence and amplitude of peaks in this band increased from proximal to distal. Although the amount of tremor differed significantly between postures, we did not find any clear patterns with changes in posture or gravitational torque.

Interpretation

This method can be used to characterize the distribution of tremor throughout the upper limb. Our preliminary characterization suggests that the amount of tremor increases in a proximal-distal manner.

Original Publication Citation

D. W. Geiger, D. L. Eggett, and S. K. Charles, "A method for characterizing essential tremor from the shoulder to the wrist," Clinical Biomechanics, vol. 52, pp. 117-123, 2018/02/01/ 2018.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2018-02-02

Publisher

Elsevier

Language

English

College

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology

Department

Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

Available for download on Tuesday, January 01, 2019

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