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Novel Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy for Neurological disorders

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Novel Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy for Neurological disorders



  • Contact name

    James Alix

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • Identifier

    STH number, STH19904

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 0 months, 28 days

  • Research summary

    Neurological disorders often cause weakness of various muscles in body. This can be the arms or legs, or muscles around the face like the tongue. Some of these conditions are due to a main problem in the muscle structure, but many are due to problems elsewhere in the body. For example, Stroke is a disease of the brain, but it is known that there are changes to muscle after a stroke which may affect recovery.

    Assessment of muscle health is therefore important in the diagnosis of neurological diseases and also in monitoring how they change over time. Despite this, the way in which muscle health is assessed is quite variable and often restricted to, for example, painful procedures, or by the clinician asking the patient to move the muscle and then judging the movement.

    We have developed a quick, simple, painless way of assessing muscle health using electrical impedance spectroscopy. In this, tiny electrical pulses, that cannot be felt are used to build up an understanding of the structure of the muscle.

    We have constructed a new device which we will test on patients with different conditions that affect muscle and that experts in these conditions, think would benefit from simple test to evaluate muscle. We will test our technology on healthy volunteers, patients with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), conditions that appear like MND ("mimics"), age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia) and Stroke.

    We will compare the recordings from the new device against routine ways of assessing these patients. We will also undertake recordings over time to understand how our readings change. We will collect patient feedback on the device and recording procedure.

    The study will enable us to understand how well the device works across conditions which could benefit from such technology. This will enable us to plan more detailed studies in the future.

  • REC name

    Wales REC 5

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    27 Mar 2019

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion