Cross-education is known as the phenomenon of strength transfer from the trained side of the body to the untrained side of the body by unilateral resistance training. Research has shown that limb dominance has an effect on the amount of strength that is gained on the untrained side. Studies have found that there is a greater cross over effect in strength from the dominant side of the body to the non-dominant side of the body than vice versa. The present study examined this effect by taking 12 college females and splitting them into three groups: dominant training, nondominant training, and control group. The hypothesis was that the dominant training group would have a greater increase in peak grip strength in the untrained, non-dominant arm than the arm of the untrained, dominant group of the non-dominant training group. The dominant training group only trained their dominant arm with a hand dynamometer, while the non-dominant training group only trained their non-dominant arm with the same hand dynamometer. Both groups went through a 4-week, 13 sessions of grip strength training on the handy dynamometer.
They performed 3 sets of 6 maximal squeezes with a 2-minute rest in between sets. Pre-and post tests were taken of maximum grip strength squeeze. There was no significance difference in peak grip strength between the untrained arms of both groups. Also, there was no significance difference in peak grip strength between the trained arms of both groups however there was a
trend in data in the untrained arm of the dominant training group showing a slight increase in strength from baseline measurements. These findings do not directly support the hypothesis however, if the number of subjects’ value was greater, the trend in data in the dominant training group might have found significant effect from limb dominance.
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The optimal conditions inducing proper brain activation during performance of rehabilitation robots should be examined to enhance the efficiency of robot rehabilitation based on the concept of brain plasticity. In this study, we attempted to investigate differences in cortical activation according to the speeds of passive wrist movements performed by a rehabilitation robot for stroke patients. 9 stroke patients with right hemiparesis participated in this study. Passive movements of the affected wrist were performed by the rehabilitation robot at three different speeds: 0.25 Hz; slow, 0.5Hz; moderate and 0.75 Hz; fast. We used functional near-infrared spectroscopy to measure the brain activity during the passive movements performed by a robot. Group-average activation map and the relative changes in oxy-hemoglobin (ΔOxyHb) in two regions of interest: the primary sensory-motor cortex (SM1); premotor area (PMA) and region of all channels were measured. In the result of group-averaged activation map, the contralateral SM1, PMA and somatosensory association cortex (SAC) showed the greatest significant activation according to the movements at 0.75 Hz, while there is no significantly activated area at 0.5 Hz. Regarding ΔOxyHb, no significant diiference was observed among three speeds regardless of region. In conclusion, the contralateral SM1, PMA and SAC showed the greatest activation by a fast speed (0.75 Hz) rather than slow (0.25 Hz) and moderate (0. 5 Hz) speed. Our results suggest an optimal speed for execution of the wrist rehabilitation robot. Therefore, we believe that our findings might point to several promising applications for future research regarding useful and empirically-based robot rehabilitation therapy.
Source: A pilot study on the optimal speeds for passive wrist movements by a rehabilitation robot of stroke patients: A functional NIRS study – IEEE Xplore Document
Robot-assisted training (RT) is a novel technique with promising results for stroke rehabilitation. However, benefits of RT on individuals with long-term chronic stroke have not been well studied. For this case study, we developed an arm-based RT protocol for reaching practice in physical and virtual environments and tracked the outcomes in an individual with a long-term chronic stroke (20+ years) over 10 half-hour sessions. We analyzed the performance of the reaching movement with kinematic measures and the arm motor function using the Fugl-Meyer Assessment-Upper Extremity scale (FMA-UE). The results showed significant improvements in the subject’s reaching performance accompanied by a small increase in FMA-UE score from 18 to 21. The improvements were also transferred into real life activities, as reported by the subject. This case study shows that even in long-term chronic stroke, improvements in motor function are still possible with RT, while the underlying mechanisms of motor learning capacity or neuroplastic changes need to be further investigated.
Source: Robot-assisted arm training in physical and virtual environments: A case study of long-term chronic stroke – IEEE Xplore Document
Upper limb (UL) hemiparesis is frequently a disabling consequence of stroke. The ability to improve UL functioning is associated with motor relearning and experience dependent neuroplasticity. Interventions such as non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) and task-practice in virtual environments (VEs) can influence motor relearning as well as adaptive plasticity. However, the effectiveness of a combination of NIBS and task-practice in VEs on UL motor improvement has not been systematically examined. The objective of this review was to examine the evidence regarding the effectiveness of combining NIBS with task-practice in VEs on UL motor impairment and activity levels. A systematic review of the published literature was conducted using standard methodology. Study quality was assessed using the PEDro scale and Down’s and Black checklist. Four studies examining the effects of a combination of NIBS (involving transcranial direct current stimulation; tDCS and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; rTMS) were retrieved. Of these, three studies were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and one was a cross-sectional study. There was 1a level evidence that the combination of NIBS and task-practice in a VE was beneficial in the sub-acute stage. A combination of training in a VE with rTMS as well as tDCS was beneficial for motor improvements in the UL in sub-acute stage of stroke (1b level). The combination was not found to be superior compared to task practice in VEs alone in the chronic stage (1b level). The results suggest that people with stroke may be capable of improving levels of motor impairment and activity in the sub-acute stage if their rehabilitation program involves a combination on NIBS and VE training. Emergent questions regarding the use of more sensitive outcomes, different types of stimulation parameters, locations and training environments still need to be addressed.
Source: Virtual reality and non-invasive brain stimulation in stroke: How effective is their combination for upper limb motor improvement? – IEEE Xplore Document
CHAPTER 40: Optimizing motor performance and sensation after brain impairment
This chapter provides a framework for optimizing motor performance and sensation in adults with brain impairment. Conditions such as stroke and traumatic brain injury are the main focus, however, the chapter content can apply to adults with other neurological conditions. The tasks of eating and drinking are used as examples throughout the chapter. Skills and knowledge required by graduates are identified, including knowledge of motor behaviour, the essential components of reaching to grasp and reaching in sitting, and how to identify compensatory strategies, develop and test movement hypotheses. Factors that enhance skill acquisition are discussed, including task specificity, practice intensity and timely feedback, with implications for therapists’ teaching skills. Finally, a summary is provided of evidence-based interventions to improve motor performance and sensation, including high intensity, task-specific training, mirror therapy, mental practice, electrical stimulation and constraint therapy.
- Essential knowledge in neurological rehabilitation includes an understanding of normal motor behaviour, muscle biology and skill acquisition.
Abnormal motor performance can be observed during a task such as reaching for a cup, and compared with expected performance. Hypotheses about the cause(s) of observed movement differences can then be made and tested.
Paralysis, weakness and loss of co-ordination affect upper limb motor performance. To improve performance after brain impairment, therapists should primarily focus on improving strength and co-ordination.
Many people with brain impairment have difficulty understanding instructions, goals and feedback, and consequently may not practice well. To teach people to practice well and learn skills, therapists need to be good coaches.
Motor performance and sensation can be improved using low-cost evidence-based strategies such as high intensity, repetitive, task-specific training, mirror therapy, mental practice, electrical stimulation and constraint-induced movement therapy.
Upper motor neuron lesions typically cause impairments such as paralysis, muscle weakness and loss of sensation. These impairments can limit participation in everyday tasks such as eating a meal. Motor control is a term commonly used in rehabilitation (Shumway-Cook, 2012; van Vliet et al 2013) and refers to control of movements such as reaching to grasp a cup and standing up. Occupational therapists and physiotherapists retrain motor and sensory impairments that interfere with tasks such as grasping a cup and sitting safely on the toilet.
The aim of this chapter is to provide a framework that helps therapists to systematically observe, analyse and measure motor and sensory impairments. Targeted evidence-based interventions will be described that can drive neuroplasticity. Therapists need to proactively seek muscle activity and sensation. It is not enough to teach a person how to compensate using one-handed techniques, or to wait for recovery to possibly occur.[…]
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Motor imagery based brain-computer interfaces (BCI) extract the movement intentions of subjects in real-time and can be used to control a cursor or medical devices. In the last years, the control of functional electrical stimulation (FES) devices drew researchers’ attention for the post-stroke rehabilitation field. In here, a patient can use the movement imagery to artificially induce movements of the paretic arms through FES in real-time.
Five patients who had a stroke that affected the motor system participated in the current study, and were trained across 10 to 24 sessions lasting about 40 min each with the recoveriX® system. The patients had to imagine 80 left and 80 right hand movements. The electroencephalogram (EEG) data was analyzed with Common Spatial Patterns (CSP) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and a feedback was provided in form of a cursor on a computer screen. If the correct imagination was classified, the FES device was also activated to induce the right or left hand movement.
In at least one session, all patients were able to achieve a maximum accuracy above 96%. Moreover, all patients exhibited improvements in motor function. On one hand, the high accuracies achieved within the study show that the patients are highly motivated to participate into a study to improve their lost motor functions. On the other hand, this study reflects the efficacy of combining motor imagination, visual feedback and real hand movement that activates tactile and proprioceptive systems.
Source: O174 Preliminary results of testing the recoveriX system on stroke patients – Clinical Neurophysiology
Chronic wrist impairment is frequent following stroke and negatively impacts everyday life. Rehabilitation of the dysfunctional limb is possible but requires extensive training and motivation. Wearable training devices might offer new opportunities for rehabilitation. However, few devices are available to train wrist extension even though this movement is highly relevant for many upper limb activities of daily living. As a proof of concept, we developed the eWrist, a wearable one degree-of-freedom powered exoskeleton which supports wrist extension training. Conceptually one might think of an electric bike which provides mechanical support only when the rider moves the pedals, i.e. it enhances motor activity but does not replace it. Stroke patients may not have the ability to produce overt movements, but they might still be able to produce weak muscle activation that can be measured via surface electromyography (sEMG). By combining force and sEMG-based control in an assist-as-needed support strategy, we aim at providing a training device which enhances activity of the wrist extensor muscles in the context of daily life activities, thereby, driving cortical reorganization and recovery. Preliminary results show that the integration of sEMG signals in the control strategy allow for adjustable assistance with respect to a proxy measurement of corticomotor drive.
Source: The eWrist — A wearable wrist exoskeleton with sEMG-based force control for stroke rehabilitation – IEEE Xplore Document
Published in: Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), 2017 International Conference on
Recent technological developments regarding wearable soft-robotic devices extend beyond the current application of rehabilitation robotics and enable unobtrusive support of the arms and hands during daily activities. In this light, the HandinMind (HiM) system was developed, comprising a soft-robotic, grip supporting glove with an added computer gaming environment. The present study aims to gain first insight into the feasibility of clinical application of the HiM system and its potential impact. In order to do so, both the direct influence of the HiM system on hand function as assistive device and its therapeutic potential, of either assistive or therapeutic use, were explored. A pilot randomized clinical trial was combined with a cross-sectional measurement (comparing performance with and without glove) at baseline in 5 chronic stroke patients, to investigate both the direct assistive and potential therapeutic effects of the HiM system. Extended use of the soft-robotic glove as assistive device at home or with dedicated gaming exercises in a clinical setting was applicable and feasible. A positive assistive effect of the soft-robotic glove was proposed for pinch strength and functional task performance ‘lifting full cans’ in most of the five participants. A potential therapeutic impact was suggested with predominantly improved hand strength in both participants with assistive use, and faster functional task performance in both participants with therapeutic application.
Source: Applying a soft-robotic glove as assistive device and training tool with games to support hand function after stroke: Preliminary results on feasibility and potential clinical impact – IEEE Xplore Document