Participation Opportunities

FRAME Project – currently recruiting

What is the purpose of the study?

The purpose of the study is to develop a device in the form of a pair of glasses which will allow people living with facial palsy to carry out their exercises more easily. Many people with facial palsy struggle with exercises to control involuntary facial movements, (synkinesis), and relax tight facial muscles for many reasons. Firstly, exercise regimes require people to look in the mirror in order to learn how to relax a muscle or stop involuntary movements. Many people dislike using the mirror, as their reflection reminds them of their condition. Secondly, people find it difficult to consistently set aside time to carry out their exercises. Thirdly, mirror feedback does not tell you whether you are exercising correctly. All these issues create barriers to exercising in front of the mirror which may mean that people do not achieve their optimum outcome through lack of adherence to their treatment programme.

How will this new device help?

The device will look like an ordinary pair of glasses which the person wears. There will be inbuilt sensors telling them about the muscle tone in surrounding muscles. It will send a signal to the wearer if a muscle becomes tight or contracts, prompting the person to relax. It overcomes the need to use the mirror, set aside specific time for exercises and, because feedback is immediate, the person will know whether they are doing their exercise correctly.

Who can take part?

We are recruiting people who experience symptoms of facial tightness and synkinesis. We need to find out in more detail what is happening to facial muscles when people become expressive. We need to measure the electrical activity in the face when people make expressions. This will allow the technology team to understand what information needs to be inbuilt into the sensors to make them effective.

You must fit the following criteria:

  • Be over 18 years in age
  • Suffer from synkinesis
  • Have had facial palsy for more than 1 year
  • Have not had Botox within the last 4 months
  • Have not had major reconstructive facial surgery in the last 12 months
  • Be willing to travel to Sussex for appointments (travel expenses will be paid)

If you are interested in being considered for this project, please email us on info@facialpalsy.org.uk for a recruitment form.

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Last reviewed: 30-06-2017    ||    Next review due: 29-05-2018