Hand – Function Control Overview

Loss of hand function is common after stroke. Usually some hand movement returns but often not enough movement returns to make the hand functional again. Electrical stimulation can be used to open the hands of stroke survivors. This can be done with electrodes that adhere to the skin on the back of the forearm.

If electrical stimulation is delivered at the same time the patient attempts to open the hand, there may be a greater chance for recovery (or relearning) of hand movement and control. If electrical stimulation is controlled by the patient, the effect on motor recovery might be even greater. Researchers at the Cleveland FES Center have developed a new treatment in which stroke survivors control stimulation to their weak hand through a glove worn on their unaffected hand. This new treatment is called Contralaterally Controlled Functional Electrical Stimulation, or CCFES.