Director, Remotion Ltd
Can electrical nerve stimulation help the long-term reduction of muscle tone and movement disorders? An amazing suit has been designed to offer just that.
Progress in the field of electrical nerve stimulation has already enhanced the lives of numerous adults and children, with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, brain or spinal cord injury, stroke and multiple sclerosis.
Similar to charging your phone battery, your nervous system naturally retains the effects of this type of sensory-level electrical nerve stimulation for around 48 hours, allowing you to continue to use the benefits for long after.
How does stimulating the nervous system affect movement?
Neurological conditions or injuries frequently lead to muscle tone imbalances and movement disorders. Stimulating the sensory nervous system at suitable locations is the key to relieving these symptoms. For example, by stimulating a muscle receptor in the triceps, that muscle is helped to work, and the opposite muscle in the biceps is inhibited by a reflex called reciprocal inhibition.
In addition to improved movement, there are additional benefits such as pain relief and improved stamina, plus long-term neuroplasticity when electrical nerve stimulation is combined with suitable exercise and physical therapy.
What kind of issues can electrical nerve stimulation help?
Spasticity, muscle rigidity, hypertonia, muscle weakness, hypotonia, dystonias, athetoid movement, ataxias (or a combination of), can all be relieved with an individualised electrical nerve stimulation programme. For example, high muscle tone in limbs at the same time as low tone in the trunk and other limbs can be relieved simultaneously, by stimulating for better trunk posture and tone adjustment for each limb. Uncontrolled movements such as dystonias can be reduced by re-balancing muscle tone towards a more centred or balanced posture.
What is the Mollii suit and how does it work?
The Mollii Suit initially won funding by successfully demonstrating its potential on Sweden’s Dragon’s Den in 2010. The suit was created in Sweden by Fredrik Lundqvist.
Applied all over the body via 58 electrodes built into the suit’s soft and stretchy jacket and trousers, the suit enables the body to adjust muscle tone and activity, making movement and control easier. This is essential for an affected child’s development or rehabilitation of people who have suffered an injury or life-changing condition.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of this clever innovation, is how easily the Mollii Suit fits with your daily life. Because it is worn at home and only for an hour every other day.
Suit sizes fit children as young as 3 years old and adults up to 18 stone and about 6’6”.