Archive for category Mirror

[ARTICLE] Effects of observation of hand movements reflected in a mirror on cortical activation in patients with stroke – Full Text PDF


[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine what changes occur in brain waves when patients with stroke receive mirror therapy intervention.

[Subjects and Methods] The subjects of this study were 14 patients with stroke (6 females and 8 males). The subjects were assessed by measuring the alpha and beta waves of the EEG (QEEG-32 system CANS 3000). The mirror therapy intervention was delivered over the course of four weeks (a total of 20 sessions).

[Results] Relative alpha power showed statistically significant differences in the F3, F4, O1, and O2 channels in the situation comparison and higher for hand observation than for mirror observation. Relative beta power showed statistically significant differences in the F3, F4, C3, and C4 channels.

[Conclusion] This study analyzed activity of the brain in each area when patients with stroke observed movements reflected in a mirror, and future research on diverse tasks and stimuli to heighten activity of the brain should be carried out.


Dysfunction from upper extremity hemiparesis impairs performance of many activities of daily living (ADL)1) . Individuals affected by stroke will learn or relearn competencies necessary to perform ADL. Traditionally, the practice of skills provided in neurologic rehabilitation has focused on reducing motor impairment and minimizing physical disability2, 3) . Since 2000, various studies of upper extremity function recovery using interventions such as constraint-induced movement therapy, functional electric stimulation, robotic-assisted rehabilitation, and bilateral arm training have been carried out4) . Such interventions were effective in increasing upper extremity functions in patients with stroke and are continually utilized in the clinical field5–7) .

However, most of the treatment protocols for the paretic upper extremity are labor intensive and require one on one manual interaction with therapists for several weeks, which makes the provision of intensive treatment for all patients difficult8) . Hence, alternative strategies and therapies are needed to reduce the long-term disability and functional impairment from upper extremity hemiparesis9) .

Mirror therapy may be a suitable alternative because it is simple; inexpensive; and, most importantly, patient-directed treatment that may improve upper extremity function8, 10) . Emerging methods in mirror therapy aim to restore motor control through a change in brain function, i.e. motor relearning11, 12) . Voluntary movements of the paretic upper extremity and hand by referring to a mirror activate the bilateral cortex and cause reorganization for other areas around the damaged brain to replace its function, thereby affecting recovery in motor function13) .

Although such methods are promising, they have failed to restore functional motor control for many patients who have experienced stroke. It is important to explore new methods that may facilitate the recovery of brain function and the restoration of more normal motor control14) . Many studies have addressed the neurophysiological effects of mirror therapy. The EEG study gave diverse stimulations to the thumb with or without a mirror to examine which area of the cortex was activated. They observed common activation areas in the primary motor cortex (M1), cingulate, and prefrontal cortex15) . And the study with healthy adults used mirror therapy with functional MRI (fMRI) and showed no difference between the dominant and non-dominant hand. Excitability of M1 ipsilateral to a unilateral hand movement was facilitated by viewing a mirror reflection of the moving hand16) . This finding provides neurophysiological evidence supporting the application of mirror therapy in stroke rehabilitation. Even though, previous studies concerned healthy subjects and had no interventions, a diversity of studies have shown upper extremity functional improvement through mirror therapy8) .

Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine what changes occur in brain waves when patients with stroke receive mirror therapy intervention.

Full Text PDF


, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[WEB PAGE] How to Regain Movement in a Paralyzed Hand with MusicGlove – Flint Rehabilitation Devices


“Can I use MusicGlove if I have no hand movement?”

We hear this question a lot, and we’re obligated to answer with, “Unfortunately MusicGlove requires that you can touch your thumb to at least one of your finger tips and release this grip by a quarter of an inch or more.”

It’s a stiff, clinical response, but it’s the truth about 80% of the time.

Recently we had one woman challenge this notion – and it made us soooo happy!

Margaret, a post rehabilitation exercise specialist, purchased a MusicGlove for her husband, a stroke survivor who had absolutely no movement in his affected hand. He could not lift a single finger.

He was in stage 1 of the Brunnstrom stages of recovery: Flaccidity.

Flaccidity’s Common Misconception

Some stroke survivors are told that there’s no hope for flaccidity, and limiting statements like this should be taken with a grain of salt.

Case in point: Margaret’s husband’s therapist said that he wouldn’t regain any hand movement, and that he would eventually lose all movement and die… What?!?!

We can’t even believe words like that are spoken in the clinic! Obviously this isn’t the norm, but it was still shocking to hear.

Needless to say, Margaret dismissed what the therapist said and started researching her options.

Because the truth is that if you have no movement in your affected hand, it’s still possible to regain movement. You can do whatever you put your mind to, as long as you put in the time and hard work.

And it helps to have a little ingenuity.

A Different Way to Use MusicGlove

Margaret refused to accept that her husband couldn’t regain hand movement, so she took matters into her own hands.

She purchased MusicGlove and used it in combination with mirror therapywith a twist. A huge twist.

Typically, mirror therapy involves using a tabletop mirror to reflect your ‘good’ hand in place of your affected hand. (See this image.)

When performing hand therapy exercises in this manner, it ‘tricks’ your brain into thinking that you’re actually moving your affected hand and helps rewire your brain.

It’s a highly effective method for regaining hand function after stroke. So Margaret used this principle, but ditched the mirror.

She placed the MusicGlove on her husband’s ‘good hand’ and had him use it that way. While he was doing this, she would assist his affected hand to mirror his movements.

She wouldn’t move his hand to the game; she moved his hand to exactly match what his other hand was doing. So if he missed a note, she missed a note.

This bilateral synchronicity helped rewire her husband’s brain, and he went from being completely flaccid to having twitches!

Gratitude for the Little Things

While twitches might not seem like a big deal to you, they were a big deal to this couple – especially when his therapist said it wasn’t possible.

Can you imagine the satisfaction and happiness they felt?

And twitches are just the beginning.

If he continues to use the device passively, then he can continue to improve until he can use the device independently. Then in due time and effort, he might progress into stage 7 of stroke recovery: full muscle control.

It’s a big, hairy goal – one that only a confident post-rehab specialist would think of – but it’s possible.

“The body achieves what the mind believes.”

Power in Believing

If this couple took their therapists’ word as law, they wouldn’t have experienced this progress. They wouldn’t have witnessed his potential.

Whatever you believe becomes your reality. Make the choice to believe in a higher recovery.

Learn to question your therapists and get curious about your potential.

Movement or Not, Is MusicGlove for You?

If you have no hand movement, then you can use MusicGlove – it just requires time, patience, and assistance.

You can use the device passively by using your unaffected hand to move your affected hand, which still helps your brain rewire itself. You can do this until you regain enough hand function to use the device actively without assistance.

There’s no guarantee about what will happen because every recovery is different.

The choice is yours to make.

But no matter what you choose, always believe in a higher recovery.

Challenge the status quo, and believe in progress even when no one else does.

Click here to learn more about MusicGlove. You’ll find our clinical trial results, more information about the device, a few video testimonials, and our contact number in case you’d like to discuss your questions with us.

Source: How to Regain Movement in a Paralyzed Hand with MusicGlove – Flint Rehabilitation Devices

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Abstract] Systematic review of mirror therapy compared with conventional rehabilitation in upper extremity function in stroke survivors



Stroke is a leading cause of disability in developed countries. One of the most widespread techniques in clinical practice is mirror therapy (MT). To determine the effectiveness of MT over other methods of intervention in the recovery of upper limb function in people who have had a stroke.


A systematic review was conducted. The search string was established based on the last systematic review about MT that dated from 2009: “upper extremity” OR “upper limb “AND “mirror therapy” AND stroke. For this search Pubmed, Scopus and SciELO databases were used.


Fifteen studies were included in the systematic review. Recovery of the upper limb, upper limb function and gross manual dexterity were frequently measured in these studies.


In the primary variables in promoting recovery, MT alone showed better results in acute and chronic stroke patients in upper limb functioning than either conventional rehabilitation (CR) or CR plus MT.


Source: Systematic review of mirror therapy compared with conventional rehabilitation in upper extremity function in stroke survivors – Pérez-Cruzado – 2016 – Australian Occupational Therapy Journal – Wiley Online Library

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[VIDEO] Mirror Therapy

Your brain can be tricked! 🙂

He thought the rubber hand was his own hand, after getting his real and rubber hand stroked simultaneously.
He pulled his own hand away, when the rubber hand gets hit by a fork! 🙂
Amazing, right?

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Abstract] Mirror therapy in chronic stroke survivors with severely impaired upper limb function: a randomized controlled trial. – PubMed



Mirror therapy (MT) has been proposed to improve the motor function of chronic individuals with stroke with mild to moderate impairment. With regards to severe upper limb paresis, MT has shown to provide limited motor improvement in the acute or sub-acute phase. However, no previous research has described the effects of MT in chronic individuals with stroke with severely impaired upper limb function.


The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of MT on chronic stroke survivors with severe upper-limb impairment in comparison with passive mobilization.


A randomized controlled trial.


Rehabilitative outpatient unit.


A total of 31 chronic subjects poststroke with severely impaired upper limb function were randomly assigned to either an experimental group (N.=15), or a control group (N.=16).


Twenty-four intervention sessions were performed for both groups. Each session included 45-minute period of MT (experimental group) or passive mobilization (control group), administered three days a week. Participants were assessed before and after the intervention with the Wolf Motor Function Test, the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, and the Nottingham Sensory Assessment.


Improvement in motor function was observed in both groups on the time (P=0.002) and ability (P=0.001) subscales of the Wolf Motor Function Test. No differences were detected in kinesthesis or stereognosis. However, the experimental group showed a significant improvement in tactile sensation that was mainly observed as an increased sensitivity to light touches.


In comparison with passive mobilization, MT in chronic stroke survivors with severely impaired upper-limb function may provide a limited but positive effect on light touch sensitivity while providing similar motor improvement.


MT is a therapeutic approach that can be used in the rehabilitation of severely impaired upper limb in chronic stroke survivors, specifically to address light touch sensitivity deficits.

Source: Mirror therapy in chronic stroke survivors with severely impaired upper limb function: a randomized controlled trial. – PubMed – NCBI

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[ARTICLE] A novel bilateral lower extremity mirror therapy intervention for individuals with stroke – Full Text

Fig. 1

Fig. 1. The device used for the LE-MT intervention (a). The recording view of the intervention (b).


Despite improvements made in stroke rehabilitation, motor impairment and gait deficits persist at discharge. New interventions are needed. Mirror therapy has promise as one element of a rehabilitation program. The primary objectives were to 1) describe a bilateral, lower extremity mirror therapy (LE-MT) device and training protocol and 2) investigate the feasibility of LE-MT. A LE-MT device was constructed to train bilateral LE movements for 30 min, 3 times/week for 4 weeks, as an adjunct to physiotherapy in three individuals post-stroke. Sessions were digitally recorded and reviewed to extract feasibility measures; repetitions, rests and session duration. Pre and post measures of gait and motor impairment were taken. Two participants completed 100% of the sessions and a third completed 83% due to a recurrence of pre-existing back pain. Repetitions increased and session duration was maintained. Number of rests decreased for two participants and increased for one participant. Participants reported fatigue and mild muscle soreness but also that the intervention was tolerable. Positive gait changes included increased velocity and decreased variability. LE motor impairment also improved. A bilateral LE-MT adjunct intervention for stroke is feasible and may have positive effects. A history of low back pain should be a precaution.

Continue —> A novel bilateral lower extremity mirror therapy intervention for individuals with stroke

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Oral Presentation] Home Mirror Therapy: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study Comparing Unimanual and Bimanual Mirror Therapy for Improved Upper Limb Function Post-Stroke – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

To compare bimanual mirror therapy (BMT) and unimanual mirror therapy (UMT) protocols, in upper extremity (UE) recovery post-stroke during a home program and to determine whether one is superior to the other.

Source: Home Mirror Therapy: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study Comparing Unimanual and Bimanual Mirror Therapy for Improved Upper Limb Function Post-Stroke – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[ARTICLE] Effect of mirror therapy on upper extremity motor function in stroke patients: a randomized controlled trial – Full Text PDF


[Purpose] This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of mirror therapy combined with a conventional rehabilitation program on upper extremity motor and functional recovery in stroke patients.

[Subjects and Methods] Thirty-one hemiplegic patients were included. The patients were randomly assigned to a mirror (n=16) or conventional group (n=15). The patients in both groups underwent conventional therapy for 4 weeks (60–120 minutes/day, 5 days/week). The mirror group received mirror therapy, consisting of periodic flexion and extension movements of the wrist and fingers on the non-paralyzed side. The patients in the conventional group performed the same exercises against the non-reflecting face of the mirror. The patients were evaluated at the beginning and end of the treatment by a blinded assessor using the Brunnstrom stage, Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) upper extremity score, and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) self-care score.

[Results] There was an improvement in Brunnstrom stage and the FIM self-care score in both groups, but the post-treatment FMA score was significantly higher in the mirror therapy group than in the conventional treatment group.

[Conclusion] Mirror therapy in addition to a conventional rehabilitation program was found to provide additional benefit in motor recovery of the upper extremity in stroke patients. Key words: Stroke rehabilitation, Mirror therapy, Upper extremity

Download Full Text PDF

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: