Mollii is designed to stimulate the antagonist muscle to a spastic muscle with a low level electric current without causing a local muscle contraction. The aim is to trigger reciprocal inhibition, the body’s own reflex to reduce the tension in the spastic muscle and to help voluntary movement. The stimulation also induces pain-relieving mechanisms.
Clinical and Research Evidence
- Clinical studies and reports on the use of the Mollii Suit have been completed in several countries at renown research hospitals and clinics, showing its effects and benefits. These include the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm and Hvidore University Hospital, Copenhagen and in Australia.
- During 2019 and 2020 more published, independent clinical studies have shown the measurable and practical benefits of the Suit for adults and children. Improvements were shown with spasticity, muscle tension, muscle weakness, uncontrolled movements, associated pain and fatigue leading to benefits in physical abilities, comfort, participation, overall quality of life and avoiding other less desirable alternative treatments.
- The results of recent these studies confirmed earlier reports and analysis of the Suit’s safety, effectiveness and usefulness since the it was first introduced.
- Further clinical studies will be shown here as they become available.
- Research background to Mollii – see below.
Clinical Studies of using Mollii
Reducing Spasticity in Children with Cerebral Palsy: Prof Hanne Hedin, Falun Hospital, Sweden et al: ‘The effects of using an electrodress (Mollii) to reduce spasticity and enhance functioning in children with cerebral palsy: a pilot study.’, European Journal of Physiotherapy, published 24 August 2020.
- A prospective study for up to one year of 16 children with Cerebral Palsy, GMFCS I to V, ages 2 to 16.
- Significant reductions in spasticity and significant improvements in passive range of movements occurred. Other benefits were noted such as pain relief, improved sleep and a reduced need for botulinum toxin injections.
Stroke, Spasticity, Functional Impairment and Mollii: Susanne Palmcrantz, PhD et al: Feasibility and potential effects of using the electro-dress Mollii on spasticity and functioning in chronic stroke. J of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, August 2020.
- A prospective study of 20 adults living with hemiplegia, spasticity and functional weakness following a stroke at least 12 months earlier and using Mollii for 6 weeks at home. Participants were ambulatory with assistance and affected in upper and lower limbs
- Mollii was found to be feasible to use at home to decrease spasticity significantly and improve sensorimotor function over the course of the study.
- Compliance was high with the planned use.
- Regular use of Mollii with activity appeared to produce improving results during the study.
Reducing Spasticity, Improving Passive Range of Motion and Goal Attainment in Children with Cerebral Palsy: Tina Piil Torabi et al, Hvidore University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark: The Mollii Suit – A Novel Method Using Reciprocal Inhibition on Children with Cerebral Palsy, GMFCS IV-V. A 6 Month Prospective Study. Poster accepted at the Nordic Neuropaediatric Congress, Copenhagen, September 2018.
- 20 children ages 7 to 17 used the Suit at school or home for 6 months.
- Significant decreases in spasticity were measured by modified Ashworth and Tardieu scales over the course of the study.
- Passive range of motion increases suggested statistical significance.
- Individual goals related to function and mobility improved significantly throughout the period except for 4 subjects.
Parents and Children’s Experiences of Mollii: Birgitta Nordstrom, PhD & Maria Prellwitz, PhD (2019): A pilot study of children and parents experiences of the use of a new assistive device, the electro suit Mollii. Assistive Technology, April 2019, DOI: 10.1080/10400435.2019.1579267.
- A qualitative study of the experiences of 6 children with Cerebral Palsy, GMFCS I and II, ages 5 to 10 and their parents of using Mollii for 3 months.
- All children reported some impact on their body and self and parents saw improvements too.
- Children found the Suit made them ‘feel like a superhero’ and could do things easier and faster.
- Children and parents noticed more strength such as improved posture.
- Children involved in activities increased their ability and participation.
- Parents and children reported pain reduction and improved sleep.
- Children and parents highlighted the discomfort of injections for muscle tone relief which Mollii avoided. Parents described how Mollii’s effect avoided the variable effect of the injections over time.
Subduing Severe Ataxia Symptoms with Mollii in Multiple Sclerosis: A Single Case Study – by Sheila Marsden, Therapy Lead/Senior OT, Leeds NHS Community Healthcare Trust, UK: Accepted at the European Congress of NeuroRehabilitation, Budapest, October 2019.
- A 40 year-old man with severe ataxia and primary progressive multiple sclerosis had declining mobility and required hoist transfers despite engaging with rehabilitation.
- The 3 month trial showed significant progress in all measures. He became able to walk for the first time in over a year using a pulpit frame and completing 100 metres with 2 therapists and he became able to play with a ball with his son.
- The team concluded that using the Suit with regular therapy helped subdue the severe ataxia, enabling a significant carry-over effect on his functional performance.
- Local NHS funding enabled him to rent and then purchase a Mollii Suit.
Parents and Children’s Experiences of Mollii: Prof Helen Bourke-Taylor, Monash University, Melbourne report for CPEC, Victoria, Australia: Qualitative Study of a Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation Garment (Mollii Suit) to Reduce Pain, Improve Capabilities and Quality of Life in Children with Cerebral Palsy, May 2019.
- A semi-structured interview study of the feasibility, practicalities and experiences of using Mollii for 6 weeks on 10 children with Cerebral Palsy, GMFCS I - III.
- All participants completed the study and were pleased to be involved.
- Benefits included improved movement, reduced impairment, reduced pain from impairment, improved sleep, better balance and taller stance, feet flatter on the ground, improved fine motor skills, concentration and speech.
- Parents found it an appropriate way to find out if the Suit was worthwhile for their child and encouraged other families to do the same.
Pain Reducing Properties of the Mollii Suit on Adults with Chronic Pain Syndromes; Prof Naji Riachi et al, Lebanese American University School of Medicine, Beirut, Lebanon: Accepted for presentation at the World Congress of Neurology, Dubai, October 2019.
- An open-label, uncontrolled study of 200 adults with different diagnoses who used Mollii for one hour. Fibromyalgia: 74, Parkinsons Disease: 29, others <20 each. Female: 118, Male: 75.
- Pain was measured with a subjective Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) just before and immediately after using the Suit and 24 hours later.
- Significant subjective improvements in VAS scores were reported immediately after using the Suit and 24 hours later, irrespective of age, sex or diagnosis.
Pain, Sleep and Energy Levels in Chronic Fatigue/ME and Mollii: Jorgen Sandell, PhD, PT, DC, Metier Medical Pty, Australia. Unpublished: A Case Study to Assess the Effects of an Electrical Stimulation Suit on Pain and Sleep Pattern of an Individual Diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME.
- One subject diagnosed with chronic fatigue/ME used a Mollii Suit daily for 30 days. Pain, sleep and energy levels were measured.
- Significant observable and subjective beneficial changes in measures occurred mainly in total daily active hours and REM/deep sleep monitoring.
- Increased interaction, reduced agitation and improved planning ahead were noticed by the family.
Research background for Mollii
An independent review of the research basis and clinical application of Mollii was completed by Dr Gaia Pennati, PhD, Karolinska Institutet, Dept of Rehabilitation Medicine, Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm in 2017 for the Swedish Innovation Agency, Vinnova; Theoretical Framework for the Clinical Applications of Mollii
A Professional View – Prof Naji Riachi, Head of Neurology, Lebanese American University,
Beirut describes his experience of using Mollii for patients with neurological conditions for
movement and muscle tone disorders as well as other purposes.