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Upper Extremity Motor Function Lab

Upper Extremity Motor Function Lab

Upper Extremity Lab set-up

Analysis of arm movement in the Upper Extremity motion capture laboratory.

Student Research Day 2012

Masters of Occupational Therapy Students won 1st place at the 2012 MUSC Student Research Day.

Virtual Reality System

Our novel virtual-reality assisted rehabilitation program, developed in collaboration with the Clemson School of Computing, won 2nd place in the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2012 international competition and was recognized in the MUSC Catalyst.   To see Patrick Dukes, a Clemson PhD student who helped develop the software talk about it, click here.

Research Coordinators

Research Coordinators Jenna Nott
and Andrew Fortune.

The team of investigators associated with the Upper Extremity Motor Function Laboratory strives to improve stroke survivors’ ability to use their paretic arm during meaningful daily activities. We are studying new ways to design neurorehabilitation programs, integrate cutting-edge neural stimulation methods and/or technologies (such as virtual reality-assisted movement practice) into rehabilitation programs and precisely measure upper extremity movement and function.

We publish the results of our studies in medical rehabilitation journals and present them at scientific conferences. In addition, we are excited to have close connections with the MUSC College of Health Professions Division of Occupational Therapy, MUSC College of Medicine Department of Neuroscience, the MUSC Stroke Center and local neurorehabilitation therapy clinics. Occupational therapy students, medical residents, pre-or post-doctoral trainees, and local neurorehabilitation therapists are often involved in lab-related events and have many opportunities to experience neurorehabilitation research in action, collaborate on research projects, and present their work at scientific or professional conferences.     

Equipment and Layout

This 762 square foot lab includes one room for neuromechanical assessment and two separate rooms for treatment. This Lab is equipped with an 8 camera 3-D Motion Capture System (PhaseSpace, Inc.), a 16 Channel EMG System, two AMTI force plates for assessment of ground reaction forces during standing reach, ActiGraph Upper Extremity Activity Accelerometers, and Advanced Statistical Analysis Software Programs to perform Item Response Theory and Structural Equation Modeling.

Current Research Projects

Patient-Targeted Upper Extremity Rehabilitation After Stroke
Sponsor: Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Administration Medical Center  |  PI: Michelle Woodbury
This study is investigating the effects of an upper extremity stroke rehabilitation program that is targeted at specific movement impairments and systematically progressed according to patients’ evolving ability-level. The treatment effect of the targeted-therapy program is compared to standard of care neurorehabilitation program with clinical assessment, kinematic analyses, and EMG analyses. LEARN MORE

A Virtual Reality Environment for Post-Stroke Upper Extremity Motor Rehabilitation
Sponsor: MUSC College of Health Professions and Clemson University School of Computing  |  PI: Michelle Woodbury
The purpose of this study is to test the feasibility of a new virtual reality environment for rehabilitation of arm and hand movement after stroke. The novel virtual reality system enables a person who has limited arm movement in the real world to appear to have normal movement in the virtual world. LEARN MORE


Wuwel Feng, MD, MS
Michelle Woodbury, PhD, OTR/LWuwel (Wayne) Feng, M.D., MS

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