Supervised Myoelectrical Hand Gesture Recognition in Post-Acute Stroke Patients with Upper Limb Paresis on Affected and Non-Affected Sides

Sensors (Basel). 2022 Nov 11;22(22):8733. doi: 10.3390/s22228733.


In clinical practice, acute post-stroke paresis of the extremities fundamentally complicates timely rehabilitation of motor functions; however, recently, residual and distorted musculoskeletal signals have been used to initiate feedback-driven solutions for establishing motor rehabilitation. Here, we investigate the possibilities of basic hand gesture recognition in acute stroke patients with hand paresis using a novel, acute stroke, four-component multidomain feature set (ASF-4) with feature vector weight additions (ASF-14NP, ASF-24P) and supervised learning algorithms trained only by surface electromyography (sEMG). A total of 19 (65.9 ± 12.4 years old; 12 men, seven women) acute stroke survivors (12.4 ± 6.3 days since onset) with hand paresis (Brunnstrom stage 4 ± 1/4 ± 1, SIAS 3 ± 1/3 ± 2, FMA-UE 40 ± 20) performed 10 repetitive hand movements reflecting basic activities of daily living (ADLs): rest, fist, pinch, wrist flexion, wrist extension, finger spread, and thumb up. Signals were recorded using an eight-channel, portable sEMG device with electrode placement on the forearms and thenar areas of both limbs (four sensors on each extremity). Using data preprocessing, semi-automatic segmentation, and a set of extracted feature vectors, support vector machine (SVM), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), and k-nearest neighbors (k-NN) classifiers for statistical comparison and validity (paired t-tests, p-value < 0.05), we were able to discriminate myoelectrical patterns for each gesture on both paretic and non-paretic sides. Despite any post-stroke conditions, the evaluated total accuracy rate by the 10-fold cross-validation using SVM among four-, five-, six-, and seven-gesture models were 96.62%, 94.20%, 94.45%, and 95.57% for non-paretic and 90.37%, 88.48%, 88.60%, and 89.75% for paretic limbs, respectively. LDA had competitive results using PCA whereas k-NN was a less efficient classifier in gesture prediction. Thus, we demonstrate partial efficacy of the combination of sEMG and supervised learning for upper-limb rehabilitation procedures for early acute stroke motor recovery and various treatment applications.

Keywords: hand gesture recognition; stroke rehabilitation; supervised learning; support vector machine; surface electromyography.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Gestures*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paresis
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Upper Extremity