Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a new non-invasive test to evaluate muscle health.
It will be beneficial for people with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and other severe nerve damage. Before, the only way to test muscle health was by using expensive equipment, such as MRI.
By using this new accelerometer placed on the skin, much like the popular wearable fitness devices, and using low level electronic pulses to mimic brain signals, researchers can measure increases in muscle endurance. The test is already showing results in patients with MS.
“If we’re giving them therapy, we’re using this to tease out the mechanism of why it’s working,” Researcher Brad Willingham says. “We strongly believe that some benefits of therapy are related to muscle plasticity, or the ability of the muscle to adapt to exercise, and that’s essentially what this test is showing.”
The researchers have partnered with the Shepherd Center in Atlanta to further investigate ways to keep patients active, no matter how serious their nerve damage.
The development of this non-invasive test is one more tool that can be used to help patients remain independent longer.