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Testing models of cerebellar ataxia via dynamic simulation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 September 2014

David Grow
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical Engineering, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801, USA. E-mail: dgrow@nmt.edu
Amy J. Bastian
Affiliation:
John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
Allison M. Okamura
Affiliation:
Mechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Summary

Patients with damage to the cerebellum make reaching movements that are uncoordinated or “ataxic.” One prevailing hypothesis is that the cerebellum functions as an internal model for planning movements, and that damage to the cerebellum results in movements that do not properly account for arm dynamics. An exoskeleton robot was used to record multi-joint reaching movements. Subsequently, joint-torque trajectories were calculated and a gradient descent algorithm found optimal, patient-specific perturbations to actual limb dynamics predicted to reduce directional reaching errors by an average of 41%, elucidating a promising form of robotic intervention and adding support to the internal model hypothesis.

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Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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