Posts Tagged chronic stroke
Scientific work undertaken at Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva, Switzerland has developed a rehabilitation arm in order to improve recovery during severe chronic strokes in patients.
Stroke is regarded as one of the major health problems among people today. A common symptom observed among cases of stroke is the long-term impairment of upper arm function. This results in complications in daily life chores and hampers the quality of life.
The Neurotechnology includes a host of therapies, like robotics, brain stimulation, brain-machine interfaces, etc. According to experts, these will in return be fruitful in treating patients, centering on their individual needs. Moreover, the new study also sheds light on longitudinal clinical studies in order to understand the rehabilitation benefits of individual therapies. Furthermore, the study also focuses on various combinations of complementary therapies used over a period of time.
“Our findings show that neurotechnology-aided upper limb rehabilitation is promising for severe chronic stroke patients. However, we also found that the ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t lead to the best outcome. We suggest a move towards a personalized combination of neurotechnology-based stroke rehabilitation therapies, ideally in a home-based environment where prolonged therapy is more feasible than in a clinic. We believe that by sequentially introducing stroke therapies according to individual progress, we could allow patients to continue their recovery beyond what is possible today,” says Dr. Martina Coscia, lead author and Staff Engineer at Wyss Center.
As per experts, rehabilitation therapies show the best results within the first three months after the incidence of stroke. After the first three months, the scope of natural recovery is limited and patients are considered chronic, commonly observed scenario, especially among patients who are severely affected.
For the study, authors reportedly compared data from 64 cases of clinical studies based on upper limb neurotechnology treatments among stroke patients. The findings mainly centered on brain stimulation, electrical stimulation of muscles, and brain-computer interfaces, in addition to a combination of these.
Further reports suggest the team is directing efforts towards undertaking clinical traits in order to test the results. For the trial, experimental design such as robotics, functional electrical stimulation, brain-computer interfaces is used to monitor the after-effects of treatment in individual patients. Scientists believe to use a combination of neurotechnological and new personalized therapies in order to improve recovery among patients. The study published in the journal Brain alleges that the trial will begin in Switzerland in summer 2019.
Results from a clinical trial testing the MyoRegulator device for the non-invasive treatment of spasticity, published recently in Bioelectronic Medicine, suggest evidence for using MyoRegulator to treat upper extremity spasticity in subjects with chronic stroke, PathMaker Neurosystems Inc announces.
PathMaker Neurosystems Inc is a clinical-stage bioelectronic medicine company that develops non-invasive systems for the treatment of patients with spasticity and paralysis. The MyoRegulator is an investigational medical device and is limited by US Federal law to investigational use only.
The device is based on PathMaker’s proprietary DoubleStim technology (combining anodal trans-spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS) and peripheral nerve direct current stimulation (pDCS)), which provides simultaneous non-invasive stimulation intended to suppress hyperexcitable spinal neurons involved with spasticity, the company explains in a media release.
“Current pharmacological approaches to managing spasticity have, at best, short-term efficacy, are confounded by adverse effects, and are often unpleasant for the patient,” said co-author Zaghloul Ahmed, PhD, professor and chairman, Department of Physical Therapy and Professor, Center for Developmental Neuroscience, CUNY and Scientific Founder of PathMaker Neurosystems.
“The initial study results demonstrate the potential of a novel, non-invasive treatment to reduce spasticity and improve functional recovery in patients with upper motor neuron syndrome after stroke.”
The single-blind, sham-controlled, crossover design study, authored by researchers at Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health (and led by Bruce Volpe, MD, included patients with upper limb hemiparesis and wrist spasticity at least 6 months after their initial stroke to test whether MyoRegulator treatment reduces chronic upper-extremity spasticity.
Twenty subjects received five consecutive 20-minute daily treatments with sham stimulation followed by a 1-week washout period, then five consecutive 20-minute daily treatments with active stimulation. Subjects were told that the order of active or sham stimulation would be randomized.
Clinical and objective measures of spasticity and motor function were collected before the first session of each condition (baseline), immediately following the last session of each condition, and weekly for 5 weeks after the completion of active treatments.
The results demonstrated significant group mean reductions from baseline in both Modified Tardieu Scale scores (summed across the upper limb, P<0.05), and in objectively measured muscle resistance at the wrist flexor (P<0.05) following active treatment as compared to following sham treatment.
Motor function also improved significantly (measured by the Fugl-Meyer and Wolf Motor Function Test; P<0.05 for both tests) after active treatment, even without additional prescribed activity or training. The effect of the active MyoRegulator treatment was durable for the 5-week follow-up period, the release continues.
“We are highly encouraged by these clinical results which demonstrate the potential of MyoRegulator to improve outcomes for patients suffering from spasticity, without the need for surgery or drugs,” says Nader Yaghoubi, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer of PathMaker.
“Building on these results and our ongoing clinical trial in Europe, we expect to initiate a US multi-center, pivotal, double-blind clinical trial supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in early 2020.”
[Source: PathMaker Neurosystems Inc]
[Abstract] Does hand robotic rehabilitation improve motor function by rebalancing interhemispheric connectivity after chronic stroke? Encouraging data from a randomised-clinical-trial.
The objective of this study was the evaluation of the clinical and neurophysiological effects of intensive robot-assisted hand therapy compared to intensive occupational therapy in the chronic recovery phase after stroke.
50 patients with a first-ever stroke occurred at least six months before, were enrolled and randomised into two groups. The experimental group was provided with the Amadeo™ hand training (AHT), whereas the control group underwent occupational therapist-guided conventional hand training (CHT). Both of the groups received 40 hand training sessions (robotic and conventional, respectively) of 45 min each, 5 times a week, for 8 consecutive weeks. All of the participants underwent a clinical and electrophysiological assessment (task-related coherence, TRCoh, and short-latency afferent inhibition, SAI) at baseline and after the completion of the training.
The AHT group presented improvements in both of the primary outcomes (Fugl-Meyer Assessment for of Upper Extremity and the Nine-Hole Peg Test) greater than CHT (both p < 0.001). These results were paralleled by a larger increase in the frontoparietal TRCoh in the AHT than in the CHT group (p < 0.001) and a greater rebalance between the SAI of both the hemispheres (p < 0.001).
These data suggest a wider remodelling of sensorimotor plasticity and interhemispheric inhibition between sensorimotor cortices in the AHT compared to the CHT group.
These results provide neurophysiological support for the therapeutic impact of intensive robot-assisted treatment on hand function recovery in individuals with chronic stroke.
[Abstract] Backward walking observational training improves gait ability in patients with chronic stroke: randomised controlled pilot study.
Backward walking has a positive effect on gait ability. Action observational training is an effective treatment method for stroke neurological disorders. This randomised comparator-controlled pilot study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of backward walking observational training on the gait ability of chronic stroke patients. Fourteen chronic stroke participants were randomly allocated to the experimental group (backward walking observation; n = 7) and control group (landscape observation; n = 7). Both groups performed conventional therapy 5 days/week; then the backward walking observation and landscape observation + backward walking training groups performed the observational training 3 days/week for 4 weeks. The primary outcome was measured dynamic gait index, 10-m walking test, and timed up and go test time. Both groups showed significant increases in dynamic gait index, 10-m walking test, and timed up and go test time. The experimental group showed more significant improvements in dynamic gait index (P = 0.04, η = 0.336), 10-m walking test (P = 0.04, η = 0.306), and timed up and go test time (P = 0.03, η = 0.334) than the control group. This pilot study demonstrated that conventional therapy with backward walking observational training improves gait ability. Our findings suggest that observing an action may have a positive effect on chronic stroke patients.
Neurotechnology-based therapies, including brain-machine interfaces, robotics, and brain stimulation among others, will lead to largest treatment effects and success if they are tailored to the needs of individual patients, and used in combination, according to the authors from the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, University of Geneva Faculty of Medicine and Clinique Romande de Réadaptation.
In their study, they call for longitudinal clinical studies to show the rehabilitation benefits of individual therapies as well as the use of multiple complementary therapies used in combination over long time periods.
“Our findings show that neurotechnology-aided upper limb rehabilitation is promising for severe chronic stroke patients,” says lead author Dr. Martina Coscia, Staff Engineer at the Wyss Center, in a media release.
“However, we also found that the ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t lead to the best outcome. We suggest a move towards a personalized combination of neurotechnology-based stroke rehabilitation therapies, ideally in a home-based environment where prolonged therapy is more feasible than in a clinic.
“We believe that by sequentially introducing stroke therapies according to individual progress, we could allow patients to continue their recovery beyond what is possible today.”
One of the most common consequences of stroke is impaired upper arm function, which has a direct impact on daily tasks and quality of life. Rehabilitation therapies generally have the largest effect in the first three months after stroke. After this time, patients are considered chronic and the likelihood of further natural recovery is limited; this is especially true for those most severely affected.
“What we would like to see in the future are long-term trials in which multiple neurotechnology-based therapies are used within the same patient,” Professor Friedhelm Hummel from EPFL (Director, Defitech Chair of Clinical Neuroengineering) and the University of Geneva Medical School, shares in the release.
“We believe that this synergistic approach could uncover previously undiscovered treatment pathways for chronic stroke patients.”
In their study, the authors compared effectiveness data from 64 clinical studies on upper limb neurotechnology-aided treatments in chronic stroke patients. The interventions analyzed in the paper included robotics, functional electrical stimulation of muscles, brain stimulation, and brain-computer interfaces as well as their use in combination.
The interdisciplinary research team is now starting a clinical trial to test these ideas. The trial uses a new experimental design with a personalized therapy approach using brain-computer interfaces, robotics, functional electrical stimulation, and brain stimulation specifically chosen to maximize treatment effects in each individual patient. The goal is to keep incrementally improving recovery by using new personalized, neurotechnology-based therapies in combination. The trial will start in Switzerland in summer 2019.
[Source(s): Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering, Science Daily]
[ARTICLE] Intensive upper limb neurorehabilitation in chronic stroke: outcomes from the Queen Square programme – Full Text
Objective Persistent difficulty in using the upper limb remains a major contributor to physical disability post-stroke. There is a nihilistic view about what clinically relevant changes are possible after the early post-stroke phase. The Queen Square Upper Limb Neurorehabilitation programme delivers high-quality, high-dose, high-intensity upper limb neurorehabilitation during a 3-week (90 hours) programme. Here, we report clinical changes made by the chronic stroke patients treated on the programme, factors that might predict responsiveness to therapy and the relationship between changes in impairment and activity.
Methods Upper limb impairment and activity were assessed on admission, discharge, 6 weeks and 6 months after treatment, with modified upper limb Fugl-Meyer (FM-UL, max-54), Action Research Arm Test (ARAT, max-57) and Chedoke Arm and Hand Activity Inventory (CAHAI, max-91). Patient-reported outcome measures were recorded with the Arm Activity Measure (ArmA) parts A (0–32) and B (0–52), where lower scores are better.
Results 224 patients (median time post-stroke 18 months) completed the 6-month programme. Median scores on admission were as follows: FM-UL = 26 (IQR 16–37), ARAT=18 (IQR 7–33), CAHAI=40 (28-55), ArmA-A=8 (IQR 4.5–12) and ArmA-B=38 (IQR 24–46). The median scores 6 months after the programme were as follows: FM-UL=37 (IQR 24–48), ARAT=27 (IQR 12–45), CAHAI=52 (IQR 35–77), ArmA-A=3 (IQR 1–6.5) and ArmA-B=19 (IQR 8.5–32). We found no predictors of treatment response beyond admission scores.
Conclusion With intensive upper limb rehabilitation, chronic stroke patients can change by clinically important differences in measures of impairment and activity. Crucially, clinical gains continued during the 6-month follow-up period.
Stroke remains common1 and persistent difficulty in using the upper limb is a major contributor to ongoing physical disability.2 The general consensus remains that most spontaneous recovery of the upper limb occurs over the first 3 months after stroke and current levels of rehabilitation result in little improvement after that, particularly at the level of impairment.3 Improving outcomes through higher dose (time in rehabilitation or number of repetitions) and intensity (dose per session) of rehabilitation is an attractive option.4 However, clinical trials of higher dose upper limb rehabilitation have generally not produced the magnitude of improvement that will change clinical practice,5 whether delivered in the early6 or chronic stages post-stroke.7–9 A common factor in these trials is that the dose (in hours) of additional therapy remained relatively low (18–36 hours). Despite scepticism that stroke patients could tolerate much higher doses,8 one study managed to deliver 300 hours of upper limb therapy to chronic stroke patients over 12 weeks and reported changes in measures of both impairment and activity that were far greater than those in lower dose studies.10 Three hundred hours represents an order of magnitude higher than any dose of rehabilitation offered in previous upper limb rehabilitation trials and deserves further consideration. However, this idea is challenging because of the logistics of setting up such a trial in healthcare settings where the ethic of high-dose, high-intensity rehabilitation is not supported. In this context, it is important to report the findings of clinical services that are able to deliver higher doses than conventionally seen. The Queen Square Upper Limb (QSUL) Neurorehabilitation programme is a single-centre clinical service that provides 90 hours of timetabled treatment focusing on the post-stroke upper limb in chronic (>6 months post-stroke) stroke patients. Here, we report (i) outcomes for patients admitted to this programme at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust (UCLH), including 6-month follow-up data to look at whether any clinical benefits were maintained, (ii) the characteristics of the patients admitted and any predictors of response and (iii) the relationship between changes in impairment and activity.[…]
Continue —> https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/90/5/498
[ARTICLE] Feasibility and clinical experience of implementing a myoelectric upper limb orthosis in the rehabilitation of chronic stroke patients: A clinical case series report – Full Text
Individuals with stroke are often left with persistent upper limb dysfunction, even after treatment with traditional rehabilitation methods. The purpose of this retrospective study is to demonstrate feasibility of the implementation of an upper limb myoelectric orthosis for the treatment of persistent moderate upper limb impairment following stroke (>6 months). Methods: Nine patients (>6 months post stroke) participated in treatment at an outpatient Occupational Therapy department utilizing the MyoPro myoelectric orthotic device. Group therapy was provided at a frequency of 1–2 sessions per week (60–90 minutes per session). Patients were instructed to perform training with the device at home on non-therapy days and to continue with use of the device after completion of the group training period. Outcome measures included Fugl-Meyer Upper Limb Assessment (FM) and modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). Results: Patients demonstrated clinically important and statistically significant improvement of 9.0±4.8 points (p = 0.0005) on a measure of motor control impairment (FM) during participation in group training. It was feasible to administer the training in a group setting with the MyoPro, using a 1:4 ratio (therapist to patients). Muscle tone improved for muscles with MAS >1.5 at baseline. Discussion: Myoelectric orthosis use is feasible in a group clinic setting and in home-use structure for chronic stroke survivors. Clinically important motor control gains were observed on FM in 7 of 9 patients who participated in training.
Stroke is a leading cause of long term disability in the United States. Traditional rehabilitation does not restore normal motor control for all stroke survivors, and upwards of 50% live with persistent upper limb dysfunction. This leads to diminished functional independence and quality of life. Motor learning-based interventions have shown promise. However in today’s health care milieu, for those with chronic motor deficits, provision of the intensive rehabilitation necessary to provide motor learning-based interventions is challenging. Therefore, new treatment methods are needed under these constraints.
An emerging technology that warrants further investigation is myoelectric control which harnesses the user’s EMG signal to power a custom fabricated orthotic device. When the user activates a target muscle, the EMG signal from that muscle signals a motor to produce a desired movement. Myoelectric control has been studied in different populations, but its study in stroke has been limited. One commercially available upper limb myoelectric device is the MyoPro motion-G (Cambridge, MA). The MyoPro motion-G provides assistance to the weak upper limb and allows the patient to perform movement they otherwise are unable to complete. Preliminary evidence suggests it may be effective in improving motor control[6–9] and one study showed improvement in self-reported function and perception of recovery. This device has been utilized in the occupational therapy (OT) clinic at our medical center for 5 years. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate feasibility of administering treatment with the MyoPro using a group therapy design in a cohort of patients with chronic stroke whose progress with standard OT had plateaued.[…]
[Abstract] Does hand robotic rehabilitation improve motor function by rebalancing interhemispheric connectivity after chronic stroke? Encouraging data from a randomised-clinical-trial
- Robotic hand training can be helpful in improving hand motor recovery.
- Amadeo™ induces large modulations of sensorimotor rhythms and connectivity.
- Robotic training yields improvement of hand motor performance by restoring hand motor control.