Cervical dystonia and rehabilitation

Cervical Dystonia (CD) is a life-lasting movement characterized by abnormal head positions and tremors, causing depression, anxiety, and loss of self-confidence. An intense rehabilitation program is necessary to alleviate the symptoms of CD, making the treatment difficult to conciliate with daily activities and expensive. 
Home-based physical therapy is an alternative to daily exercise; however, feedback is absent in this context, so the patient could perform unintended movements and affect the rehabilitation outcomes. Moreover, a lack of progress perception can lead to demotivation to follow the treatment.
This project aims to develop a system to give people feedback about how they perform their exercises at home while motivating them to keep following their treatment. Considering the specific needs of each patient (direction of the cervical dystonia, presence/ absence of tremor), we aim to give patient-tailored feedback in connection to serious gaming to promote the use of the system and enhance adherence to the treatment. The optimal quantity and location of sensors to get information about the user's movement and muscles' activation are among the challenges of this research.
Researchers involved:
Elisabeth Wilhelm
Jacquelien Scherpen