Posts Tagged Cardiac stress response

[Abstract] Cardiovascular fitness is improved post-stroke with upper-limb Wii-based Movement Therapy but not dose-matched constraint therapy.

Introduction: Post-stroke cardiovascular fitness is typically half that of healthy age-matched people. Cardiovascular deconditioning is a risk factor for recurrent stroke that may be overlooked during routine rehabilitation. This study investigated the cardiovascular responses of two upper limb rehabilitation protocols.

Methods: Forty-six stroke patients completed a dose-matched program of Wii-based Movement Therapy (WMT) or modified Constraint-induced Movement Therapy (mCIMT). Heart rate and stepping were recorded during early (day 2)- and late (day 12–14)-therapy. Pre- and post-therapy motor assessments included the Wolf Motor Function Test and 6-min walk.

Results: Upper limb motor function improved for both groups after therapy (WMT p = 0.003, mCIMTp = 0.04). Relative peak heart rate increased from early- to late-therapy WMT by 33% (p < 0.001) and heart rate recovery (HRR) time was 40% faster (p = 0.04). Peak heart rate was higher and HRR faster during mCIMT than WMT, but neither measure changed during mCIMT. Stepping increased by 88% during Wii-tennis (p < 0.001) and 21% during Wii-boxing (p = 0.045) while mCIMT activities were predominantly sedentary. Six-min walk distances increased by 8% (p = 0.001) and 4% (p = 0.02) for WMT and mCIMT, respectively.

Discussion: Cardiovascular benefits were evident after WMT as both a cardiovascular challenge and improved cardiovascular fitness. The peak heart rate gradient across WMT activities suggests this therapy can be further individualized to address cardiovascular needs. The mCIMT data suggest a cardiovascular stress response.

Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate a cardiovascular benefit during specifically targeted upper limb rehabilitation. Thus, WMT not only improves upper limb motor function but also improves cardiovascular fitness.

Source: Maney Online – Maney Publishing

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