Earl Merson

Earl Merson

  • emerson at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
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Earl Merson is researching the use of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) to improve the walking of people with drop foot caused by central neurological damage.

Drop foot is a medical condition where people cannot lift one or both feet when walking, causing them to trip. It is often a result of a stroke or multiple sclerosis. Electrical stimulation of the common peroneal nerve (by the knee) is recognised by NICE as an effective treatment. The most common method of application is with a pair of self-adhesive electrodes (avoiding the need for surgery). In most cases, the electrodes must be placed carefully to achieve the desired foot movement. Many people find this difficult, through lack of dexterity or limited understanding of how to adjust the electrodes for best effect.

Earl is investigating the potential for using two channels of stimulation to control the foot response, aiming for strong foot lift (to reduce tripping) while maintaining ankle stability during loading and comfort. The relative...


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