Journal of Undergraduate Research


essential tremor, movement disorders, suppression sleeve


Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering


Essential Tremor (ET) is among the most common movement disorders. It is characterized by involuntary, rhythmic movement in the body, most often in the hands or head. The primary treatment options include deep brain surgery and/or medication, both of which can cause undesired side effects. The Neuromechanics Research Group at BYU is investigating alternative treatments by studying the effect of low-level electrical stimulation of affected extrinsic hand muscles on tremor in ET patients. While the research may prove promising, there are still several obstacles to overcome for this approach to be practical. To apply electrical stimulation, self-adhesive electrodes are placed on the patient’s arm and wired to a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) unit, which applies a small electrical current. These electrodes are prone to falling off the patient, and the wires can impede the user’s movement. In this project, we sought to find a simple solution to apply electrical current on a patient’s forearm without impeding motion or being uncomfortable. To meet these objectives, we modified a compression sleeve to include adjustable electrodes and a simple, integrated electronics control pack on the upper arm.