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J Neural Eng. 2013 Jun;10(3):036019. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/10/3/036019. Epub 2013 May 8.

Pathological tremor prediction using surface electromyogram and acceleration: potential use in 'ON-OFF' demand driven deep brain stimulator design.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), IL, USA.



We present a proof of concept for a novel method of predicting the onset of pathological tremor using non-invasively measured surface electromyogram (sEMG) and acceleration from tremor-affected extremities of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET).


The tremor prediction algorithm uses a set of spectral (Fourier and wavelet) and nonlinear time series (entropy and recurrence rate) parameters extracted from the non-invasively recorded sEMG and acceleration signals.


The resulting algorithm is shown to successfully predict tremor onset for all 91 trials recorded in 4 PD patients and for all 91 trials recorded in 4 ET patients. The predictor achieves a 100% sensitivity for all trials considered, along with an overall accuracy of 85.7% for all ET trials and 80.2% for all PD trials. By using a Pearson's chi-square test, the prediction results are shown to significantly differ from a random prediction outcome.


The tremor prediction algorithm can be potentially used for designing the next generation of non-invasive closed-loop predictive ON-OFF controllers for deep brain stimulation (DBS), used for suppressing pathological tremor in such patients. Such a system is based on alternating ON and OFF DBS periods, an incoming tremor being predicted during the time intervals when DBS is OFF, so as to turn DBS back ON. The prediction should be a few seconds before tremor re-appears so that the patient is tremor-free for the entire DBS ON-OFF cycle and the tremor-free DBS OFF interval should be maximized in order to minimize the current injected in the brain and battery usage.

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