Cortical activity in patients with tremor and healthy subjects imitating tremor

Cortical activity in patients with tremor and healthy subjects imitating tremor

Background and problem statement

A common symptom in movement disorders, like Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, is tremor. Tremor is an involuntary shaking of a body part, most commonly the hands. It is thought to be generated by multiple oscillators in the brain. However, the exact mechanism of tremor generation is not known. In this study we want to determine the differences in cortical activity between patients, who suffer from tremor, and healthy subjects, who imitate a tremor of the hands. This might provide some new insight into the pathophysiology of tremor generation.

Our research focuses on determining underlying pathological changes and physiological mechanisms of movement disorders. The final goal is to establish an objective diagnostic system that is able to make an earlier and more accurate diagnosis of different movement disorders. For this purpose brain activity is measured using EEG and fMRI. Furthermore, EMG and accelerometers are used to record the peripheral tremor. To be able to do closed-loop system identification a robot is used for external perturbation of the hand and wrist.

Assignment

The goal of this assignment is to determine differences in cortical activity between patients suffering from tremor and healthy subjects imitating a tremor movement. For this purpose hand movement is recorded using 3D accelerometers and a 64-channel EEG to recorded cortical activity. Subjects are asked to keep both arms outstretched in an approximately 90 degree angle with the shoulder. Healthy subjects are instructed to imitated a tremor and patients are instructed to not suppress their tremor.

Currently, experiments are performed in Amsterdam (Department of Clinical Neurophysiology) in cooperation with the University of Twente and the TU Delft.

Components

·

Perform a literature study on tremor

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Analyze recorded data in Matlab to determine differences in muscle activation in patients and healthy subjects imitating a tremor

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Discuss the results

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Report writing and final presentation

Educational program

BSc/Internship

BMT/TG

Research theme

From Neural Circuit Behaviour to Human Sensory-Motor Function

Principal Investigator track

Ciska Heida:

Central motor control

Supervision and info

Frauke Luft

Educational program

MSc

EL/BMT/TG

Research theme

From Neural Circuit Behaviour to Human Sensory-Motor Function

Principal Investigator track

Ciska Heida:

Central motor control

Supervision and info

Frauke Luft