P17044: Human Tremor Mitigation
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Background and Research

Table of Contents

Background Summary

Tremors

A Tremor is an involuntary rhythmic muscle movement that usually manifests itself in a patients arms or legs. Tremors can be caused by many different events and diseases including stroke, brain injury, Parkinson's, alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, brain disorder, drugs, and more.

One of the major effects of tremors is on the patients fine motor control. This can cause difficulty in performing daily tasks such as writing, reading, brushing teeth, applying makeup, cutting and eating food, drinking, pouring liquids, etc.

The two video clips presented below are examples of the essential tremor and the effects of the tremor on their daily life.

Tremor Example 1: Video of patient attempting to draw a spiral on the page

Tremor Example 1: Video of patient attempting to draw a spiral on the page

Tremor Example 2: Video of patient attempting to pour one cup into another

Tremor Example 2: Video of patient attempting to pour one cup into another

Wrist Axis of Motion: the different axis that must be resisted in mitigating tremors

Wrist Axis of Motion: the different axis that must be resisted in mitigating tremors

The Task at Hand

The Tremor Mitigation team was approached with the task of addressing tremors in some facet, whether by building a system for monitoring tremors to improve doctor-patient experience, building a device to mimic tremors for better understanding, testing, and research, building a device the patient could hold to make certain tasks less effected by their tremor, or by building a wearable device to mitigate tremors either actively or passively.

After doing much research, some of which can be seen in the tables in the "Research Papers" section, we have decided to narrow the scope of our project. We plan to build a wearable device to mitigate Essential Tremors in the right arm of the patient.

During our research we observed that the Essential Tremor is the most common form of bodily tremor in the United States, effecting around 7 million Americans. We have chosen the right arm due to the majority of our research reporting tremors to be worse in the dominant hand, and the majority of people are right hand dominant. The decision to build a wearable device was made due to the lack of existing technology of that type to address this problem. There are several devices that exist as research work, but none that we have found that are commercially available.

Research Papers

Title Description File
Ground Rounds Tremor Tremor case studies File
Brain Stimulation and Parkinson's Disease Effect of deep brain stimulation on amplitude and frequency characteristics of rest tremor in Parkinson’s disease File
Tremor Defining tremors, causes, categories, diagnosing, and treatment File
Tremor Statistics How Common Is the Most Common Adult Movement Disorder? Update on the Worldwide Prevalence of Essential Tremor File

Existing Technologies

Title Description
Liftware Actively stabilizing handle with spoon and fork attachments
Gyro Glove MIT's gyroscopic stabilizing glove prototype. More info here,and here
NuVu Active mitigation through a signal that stimulates the brain.
ReadiSteadi Weighted glove to limit movement from tremors.
Rocker Knife Easy and stable grip knife
Smart Textile Tremor Suppression Using Smart Textile Fiber Systems.
Stay Bowl Bowl with specially shaped handle and non-skid base.
Vibration Device For Tremors A wearable device that uses vibratory stimuli to limit tremors.
Weighted Button Aid A device that helps button shirts with a steady weighted handle.

Works Cited -- File

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