Background: We developed an electroencephalogram-based brain computer interface system to modulate functional electrical stimulation (FES) to the affected tibialis anterior muscle in a stroke patient. The intensity of FES current increased in a stepwise manner when the event-related desynchronization (ERD) reflecting motor intent was continuously detected from the primary cortical motor area. Methods: We tested the feasibility of the ERD-modulated FES system in comparison with FES without ERD modulation. The stroke patient who presented with severe hemiparesis attempted to perform dorsiflexion of the paralyzed ankle during which FES was applied either with or without ERD modulation. Results: After 20 minutes of training, the range of movement at the ankle joint and the electromyography amplitude of the affected tibialis anterior muscle were significantly increased following the ERD-modulated FES compared with the FES alone. Conclusions: The proposed rehabilitation technique using ERD-modulated FES for stroke patients was feasible. The system holds potentials to improve the limb function and to benefit stroke patients.
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