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Undergraduate   Posts: 3

What is Electromyography?; College English Analysis Essay

nzhu 1 / -  
Nov 17, 2013   #1
I have to do a revision of my Analysis essay on my chosen topic which is Electromyography.
I've got some peer revisions, but the writing center is closed so I haven't got any "professional" comments.

Please be as critical (but reasonable as possible) about as many (to a reasonable extent) errors as possible.
I can't afford to get a B in an english class.

It would be best to correct:
1. My grammar. It seems the teacher keeps telling me about my grammar mistakes but she's so unspecific, that the advice is basically useless
2. I noticed that some of the peer comments mentioned "flow" within the paragraph

Thanks for your help!
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The copy and paste seems to have ruined my essay formating

Research Analysis
Nathaniel Zhu
What is Electromyography?
Electromyography (EMG) is a procedure to analyze the health of muscles by recording the electricity of motor neuron firing and patterns associated with the firing of neurons. EMG effectively detects the firing of neurons because neurons fire at a relatively high and easily detectable voltage at approximately 1mV. Motor neuron firing results in muscle contraction so it is used to study diseases where muscles are not firing normally such as ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases that appear due to age or genetic defects. EMG also has other practical applications; data generated from the electrical state of neurons can be used to create a response to such changes such as in prosthetics which detects muscle signals on regions of the limb before the damage and mimics the natural response of the damaged muscle. In addition, EMG muscle sensing is used in technologies that strengthen normal humans such as in super powered exoskeletons and in the treatment of psychological disorders such as hypertension and autism through a method called biofeedback that involves the patient to consciously monitor the data and then mentally try to reduce or increase stimulation. Electromyography is a very useful method in measuring muscle stimulation that has numerous applications in the diagnosis and treatment of disease as well as the potential to enhance human abilities.

Types of EMG
Surface EMG
Surface EMG measures the electrical output of motor neurons at the surface of surface of the skin (Farrell, 2006). The electricity detecting electrodes are sticky attachments to the surface of the skin. While this method is minimally invasive, it is also susceptible to interference from the power supply, other muscle groups, and external inputs of low voltage (Farrell, 2006).

Intramuscular EMG
While most research into EMG has been done using surface EMG, intramuscular EMG offers more accurate voltage measurements because an implant such as a needle is embedded within the muscle that insulates it from interfering signals (Farrell, 2006). Measurement of neuron firing is thus more localized and can be used to diagnose problems associated with a particular muscle group.

Applications of EMG
Electromyography has numerous applications in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. It can be used to diagnose problems in muscle contraction even when muscles aren't consciously flexed such as in Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and Huntington's disease that results in problems with movement. It is also used to help amputees regain motility and is the subject of research to strengthen normal people with exoskeletons.

Many diseases are very hard to diagnose; for example, there are no such test to definitively confirm Parkinson's disease. In other words, CT scans, PET scans, blood tests, spinal taps, and other tests will still leave the possibility for other diseases if analyzed individually (Jawahar, 2011). Detection is merely a process of elimination and EMG scans tremendously reduces the list of possible diseases. Diseases that degenerate neurons in the brain from motor neurons can finally be differentiated from diseases in the muscle by combining neuro-imaging of the brain and EMG sensing. Since diseases in motor neurons such as in the arms and legs do not affect neurons in the brain, an abnormal EMG graph in conjunction with a normal neuro-image of the brain indicates that the damage is in the peripheral nervous system.

EMG is also be used to diagnose diseases such as Huntington's disease without the use of any other test. Huntington's disease is a neuro-degenerative disorder marked by cognitive decline and muscle coordination decline. This is done by analyzing a response of motor neurons called the Long Latency Reflex (LLR) which is a prolonged muscle contract between the short and automatic reflexes and conscious movement (Leblhuber, 1991). In people with Huntington's disease, the long latency is absent and this can be detected on an EMG graph (Leblhuber, 1991). Electromyography is thus a very versatile method of diagnosis which can be used in conjunction with other methods or by itself.

Biofeedback is a technique for treating psychological diseases as well as rehabilitation for all sorts of neurological disorders that involve muscle contraction such as urinary incontinence, hypertension, chronic pain, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) (Jawahar 2011). Pain and movement disorders involve malfunctioning signals from sensory and motor neurons to the brain. EMG sensors measure these electrical signals so the patient has a real time and quantitative understanding of his or her problem. Patients can then concentration on psychological treatments to consciously focus on reducing stimulation to pain. Rats that had their spinal cord fractures was able to walk again with an incentive such as food, but wasn't able to walk if leg movement was involuntary such as if it was placed on a treadmill. The brain is thus able to create an alternate path between the brain and motor neurons. This is the essential concept underlying EMG treatment of muscle problems and pain. Consciously trying to control movement and reduce pain will in turn result in alternate neuron paths that eventually improve movement and reduce pain.

Prosthetic limbs are devices that help amputees move and can come in a variety of forms but most frequently as an arm or leg. Electromyography is the primary method used to control prosthetic arms and legs. Muscle contraction generates different EMG patterns with different motions and speeds (Lee, 1984). Analysis of these patterns allows for the prosthetic limb to replicate the movement of the amputated limb with high accuracy. EMG patterns are then classified into categories of movement and when a specific pattern is matched, the prosthetic limb will react accordingly (Lee, 1984).

Exoskeletons are full body devices that amplify movements. The most famous exoskeleton is the iron man suit and while there are many ways to amplify movement from using force-sensitive resistors to accelerometers, EMG sensing is among the most effective methods because of its high accuracy, simplicity, and fast response to movement. In addition, it best replicates the human body and does not have any physical limitations like force sensitive resistors do which only moves when there is contact with the resistor and it is not able to sense direction changes. Japanese inventor Yoshi Yukisankai developed an exoskeleton named HAL (hybrid assistive limb) that uses EMG to amplify movement (Kaminski, 2011). Normally, when a person wants to move, an electrical signal is sent from the brain through the interneurons in the spine, down the motor neurons of a limb such as an arm, and finally the motor neuron contracts due to a precisely controlled mechanism involving Calcium ions and proteins. Yukisankai's EMG sensors detect electrical signals almost instantly and often even before muscles can react resulting in superhuman reflexes in addition to super human strength and has proven to create an extremely natural range of motion and speeds in the wearer.

(Some students told me that for an analysis essay, a conclusion is unnecessary. What do you think?)
Electromyography is an extremely versatile technology that has a wide variety of applications from diagnosing diseases to treating diseases and even enhancing human abilities. EMG is used for pattern recognition which in the case of disease can be coupled with other methods to isolate diseases that are difficult to identify by any single method. In addition, EMG is used for treatment of neurological diseases involving malfunction in the transport of signals between the muscles and brain. EMG muscles are used in prosthetics to give motion to amputees and in the cases of people like physicist Stephen Hawking who has only active muscle groups left in his cheek, the ability to communicate with the world (Watson, 2013). It is used to strengthen normal people as well as the elderly. Electromyography is intuitive and useful, and will continue to serve as the foundational concept behind future technologies and applications.

khodekhodam 3 / 7  
Nov 27, 2013   #2
It was so complete.
good luck
dumi 1 / 7,114 1592  
Dec 11, 2013   #3
Many diseases are very hard to diagnose; for example, there are no such test to definitively confirm Parkinson's disease.

Many diseases are very hard to diagnose. For example, no test can provide a guaranteed confirmation on Parkinson's disease.

Detection is merely a process of elimination and EMG scans tremendously reduces the list of possible diseases.

Detection therefore is merely a process of elimination of possible diseases and EMG scans helps in this process by tremendously reducing the list of such possible diseases.

EMG iscan also be used to diagnose diseases such as Huntington's disease without the use of any other test.

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