Characterization of parkinsonian hand tremor and validation of a high-order tremor estimator
IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
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Recent progress in wearable technology has made wearable tremor suppression devices (WTSDs) for Parkinson's patients a potentially viable alternative solution for tremor management. So far, in contrast to wrist and elbow tremor, finger tremors have not been studied in depth despite the huge impact that they have on a patient's daily life. In addition, more evidence has been found showing that the performance of current tremor estimators may be limited by their model order due to the multiple harmonics present in tremor. The aim of this paper is to characterize finger and wrist tremor in both the time and frequency domains, and to propose a high-order tremor estimation algorithm. Tremor magnitudes are reported in the forms of linear acceleration, angular velocity, and angular displacement. The activation of forearm flexor and extensor muscles is also investigated. The frequency analysis shows that Parkinsonian tremors produce oscillations of the hand with pronounced harmonics. At last, a high-order weighted-frequency Fourier linear combiner (WFLC)-based Kalman filter is proposed. The percentage estimation accuracy achieved from the proposed estimator is 96.3 ± 1.7%, showing average improvements of 28.5% and 48.9% over its lower-order counterpart and the WFLC. The proposed estimator shows promise for use in a WTSD.