Posts Tagged hemiparesis
Purpose: Precise control of a car steering wheel requires adequate motor capability. Deficits in grip strength and force control after stroke could influence the ability steer a car. Our study aimed to determine the impact of stroke on car steering and identify the relative contribution of grip strength and grip force control to steering performance.
Methods: Twelve chronic stroke survivors and 12 controls performed three gripping tasks with each hand: maximum voluntary contraction, dynamic force tracking, and steering a car on a winding road in a simulated driving environment. We quantified grip strength, grip force variability, and deviation of the car from the center of the lane.
Results: The paretic hand exhibited reduced grip strength, increased grip force variability, and increased lane deviation compared with the non-dominant hand in controls. Grip force variability, but not grip strength, significantly predicted (R2 = 0.49, p < 0.05) lane deviation with the paretic hand.
Conclusion: Stroke impairs the steering ability of the paretic hand. Although grip strength and force control of the paretic hand are diminished after stroke, only grip force control predicts steering accuracy. Deficits in grip force control after stroke contribute to functional limitations in performing skilled tasks with the paretic hand.
- Implications for rehabilitation
Driving is an important goal for independent mobility after stroke that requires motor capability to manipulate hand and foot controls.
Two prominent stroke-related motor impairments that may impact precise car steering are reduced grip strength and grip force control.
In individuals with mild-moderate impairments, deficits in grip force modulation rather than grip strength contribute to compromised steering performance with the paretic hand.
We recommend that driving rehabilitation should consider re-educating grip force modulation for successful driving outcomes post stroke.
[Abstract] Effects of Bihemispheric Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Upper Extremity Function in Stroke Patients: A randomized Double-Blind Sham-Controlled Study
[Abstract] The influence of virtual reality on rehabilitation of upper limbs and gait after stroke: a systematic review – Full Text PDF
Stroke is the leading cause of functional disability in adults. Its neurovascular origin and injury location indicates the possible functional consequences. Virtual rehabilitation (VR) using patient’s motion control is a new technological tool for conventional rehabilitation, allowing patterns of movements in varied environments, involving the patient in therapy through the playful components offered by VR applications. The objective of this systematic review is to collect data regarding the influence promoted by VR in upper limb and hemiparetic gait. Full articles published between 2009 and 2015 in english were searched and selected in PubMed, Cochrane and Pedro databases. Eleven articles included (5 for VR and upper limbs; 4 for VR, gait and balance; and 2 for VR and neural mechanisms). The articles included demonstrate efficacy in VR treatment in hemiparetic patients in the variables analyzed.
[Abstract] A game changer: the use of digital technologies in the management of upper limb rehabilitation – BOOK
Hemiparesis is a symptom of residual weakness in half of the body, including the upper extremity, which affects the majority of post stroke survivors. Upper limb function is essential for daily life and reduction in movements can lead to tremendous decline in quality of life and independence. Current treatments, such as physiotherapy, aim to improve motor functions, however due to increasing NHS pressure, growing recognition on mental health, and close scrutiny on disease spending there is an urgent need for new approaches to be developed rapidly and sufficient resources devoted to stroke disease. Fortunately, a range of digital technologies has led to revived rehabilitation techniques in captivating and stimulating environments. To gain further insight, a meta-analysis literature search was carried out using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method. Articles were categorized and pooled into the following groups; pro/anti/neutral for the use of digital technology. Additionally, most literature is rationalised by quantitative and qualitative findings. Findings displayed, the majority of the inclusive literature is supportive of the use of digital technologies in the rehabilitation of upper extremity following stroke. Overall, the review highlights a wide understanding and promise directed into introducing devices into a clinical setting. Analysis of all four categories; (1) Digital Technology, (2) Virtual Reality, (3) Robotics and (4) Leap Motion displayed varying qualities both—pro and negative across each device. Prevailing developments on use of these technologies highlights an evolutionary and revolutionary step into utilizing digital technologies for rehabilitation purposes due to the vast functional gains and engagement levels experienced by patients. The influx of more commercialised and accessible devices could alter stroke recovery further with initial recommendations for combination therapy utilizing conventional and digital resources.
[ARTICLE] Effect of Exercise on Gait Mechanics in a Patient with Severe Gait Disorder Due to Chronic Ischaemic Stroke: A Case Study – Full Text
We describe the effects of an exercise programme based on the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association guidelines for stroke patients on gait mechanics in a patient with severe gait disorder due to chronic ischaemic stroke. A 74-year-old female patient, with right hemiparesis as a result of a stroke attack before 18 months followed an 8-week exercise programme, consisting of three hourly sessions per week. Patient’s gait mechanics were evaluated before and after the intervention using a three-dimensional gait analysis system, with six infrared cameras, two force plates, and an electronic timing system. Exercise led to increase of spatial and decrease of temporal gait parameters, increase of joint range of motion and lower limb muscle powers during the entire gait cycle and increase of the moments in the support phase. In conclusion, exercise had a positive effect on this patient’s gait pattern and improved her functionality.
Stroke is the most common cause of serious long-term disability  . Although the rate of neurological recovery is rapid in the first 4 weeks after the stroke  , functionality improvement seems to extend beyond this period, possibly through the development of compensatory strategies against neurological deficits  . However, patients often adopt a sedentary lifestyle that leads to dependence on other people, but also to increased risk of falls and recurrence of stroke  , or other cardiovascular events   . In particular, patients after stroke are significantly less physically active in comparison with the elderly who suffer from chronic musculoskeletal diseases or other cardiovascular diseases     . A sedentary lifestyle exacerbates further their cardiovascular function and the already impaired functional capacity   . Furthermore, it leads to increased fatigue, muscle atrophy and weakness, osteoporosis and impaired circulation in the lower limbs. Finally, the greater dependence of patients with stroke on others for daily activities and their impaired ability for usual social activities can have serious negative psychological effects  .
In 2014, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association (AHA/ASΑ) published the revised recommendations on exercise in patients with stroke  . Nevertheless, to the best of our knowledge, there is no data concerning the effect of the above exercise programme on patients’ gait pattern. Importantly, gait pattern affects muscle and joint loads during movement and thus on the long-term function of the skeletal system    . We herein describe the effect of an exercise programme based on these recommendations on gait mechanics in a patient with severe gait disorder resulting from an ischaemic stroke in the chronic phase of rehabilitation.
[ARTICLE] Methods for an Investigation of Neurophysiological and Kinematic Predictors of Response to Upper Extremity Repetitive Task Practice in Chronic Stroke – Full Text PDF
[Abstract] Adaptive Physical Activity for Stroke: An Early-Stage Randomized Controlled Trial in the United States
Background. As stroke survival improves, there is an increasing need for effective, low-cost programs to reduce deconditioning and improve mobility.
Objective. To conduct a phase II trial examining whether the community-based Italian Adaptive Physical Activity exercise program for stroke survivors (APA-Stroke) is safe, effective, and feasible in the United States.
Methods. In this single-blind, randomized controlled trial, 76 stroke survivors with mild to moderate hemiparesis >6 months were randomized to either APA-Stroke (N = 43) or Sittercise (N = 33). APA-Stroke is a progressive group exercise regimen tailored to hemiparesis that includes walking, strength, and balance training. Sittercise, a seated, nonprogressive aerobic upper body general exercise program, served as the control. Both interventions were 1 hour, 3 times weekly, in 5 community locations, supervised by exercise instructors.
Results. A total of 76 participants aged 63.9 ± 1.2 years, mean months poststroke 61.8 ± 9.3, were included. There were no serious adverse events; completion rates were 58% for APA-Stroke, 70% for Sittercise. APA-Stroke participants improved significantly in walking speed. Sample size was inadequate to demonstrate significant between-group differences. Financial and logistical feasibility of the program has been demonstrated. Ongoing APA classes have been offered to >200 participants in county Senior Centers since study completion.
Conclusion. APA-Stroke shows great promise as a low-cost, feasible intervention. It significantly increased walking speed. Safety and feasibility in the US context are demonstrated. A pivotal clinical trial is required to determine whether APA-Stroke should be considered standard of care.
via Adaptive Physical Activity for Stroke: An Early-Stage Randomized Controlled Trial in the United States – Mary Stuart, Alexander W. Dromerick, Richard Macko, Francesco Benvenuti, Brock Beamer, John Sorkin, Sarah Chard, Michael Weinrich, 2019
An investigational, non-invasive medical device shows promise as a possible treatment for spasticity in patients who have experienced a stroke, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research scientists report.
Their study, published in Springer Nature’s Bioelectronic Medicine, suggests that trans-spinal direct current stimulation and peripheral nerve direct current stimulation significantly reduced upper limb spasticity in participants who experienced a stroke.
Spasticity is a residual inability of the brain to control muscle tone. It increases muscle stiffness, which inhibits movement of the hands, arms, and legs; can affect the face and throat; and sometimes causes pain.
Efforts to treat upper limb spasticity have focused on intensive, repetitive, activity-dependent learning; however, it is common to experience residual spasticity despite aggressive therapy. When spasticity continues to worsen and causes pain, the standard-of-care is botox (botulinum toxin) injection, according to a media release from Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research.
“Spasticity is a persistent and common inhibitor of movement in patients with chronic stroke, and it has been a great hurdle as we continue to use intensive training to assist motor recovery,” says Bruce T. Volpe, MD, professor at the Feinstein Institutes and lead author of the paper, in the release.
“The surprise in these clinical results were the improved motor functions that apparently occurred with the focused treatment only of spasticity. We are eager to start a trial that couples motor training and anti-spasticity treatment.”
The treatment involves passing a direct electrical current across the spinal cord with a skin surface electrode, known as trans-spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS), and adding a peripheral direct current stimulation (pDCS) in the paralyzed upper limb. There are additional benefits to patients when tsDCS is combined with pDCS.
Volpe, along with a team that includes Johanna Chang, MS, Alexandra Paget-Blanc, BS, and Maira Saul, MD, employed this device in patients with chronic stroke and hemiparesis to test whether treatment would decrease upper limb spasticity. The trial was a single-blind cross-over design study.
Twenty six participants were treated with five consecutive days of 20 minutes of active, paired tsDCS+pDCS. The participants received both active and sham stimulation conditions, but were not told the order of stimulation.
The device used in the trial was PathMaker Neurosystems Inc’s MyoRegulator, a non-invasive device designed to provide simultaneous, non-invasive stimulation intended to suppress hyperexcitable spinal neurons involved with spasticity.
The results demonstrated that the active treatment condition significantly reduced upper limb spasticity for up to five weeks and these patient responders saw significant improvements in motor function, the release explains.
[Source(s): Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, PR Newswire]
[Abstract + References] Investigation of the effects of mirror therapy on the spasticity, motor function and functionality of impaired upper limbs in chronic stroke patients
Strokes lead to different levels of disability. During the chronic stage, hemiparesis, spasticity and motor deficits may cause loss of functional independence. Mirror therapy aims to reduce deficits and increase functional recovery of the impaired upper limb. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of mirror therapy on upper limb spasticity and motor function, as well as its impact on functional independence in chronic hemiparetic patients.
In this quasi-experimental study, eight chronic hemiparetic patients (age 55.5 ± 10.8 years) were assessed to determine their degree of spasticity (Modified Ashworth Scale), level of upper limb motor function (Fugl-Meyer Assessment) and functionality (Functional Independence Measure). All participants received 12 sessions of mirror therapy delivered three times per week, over a period of 4 weeks. Participants were re-evaluated post-intervention and these results were compared to their pre-intervention scores to determine the impact of mirror therapy.
A decrease in spasticity was observed, with significant improvements in shoulder extensors (P=0.033) and a significant increase in motor function (P=0.002). The therapeutic protocol adopted did not have a significant effect on functional independence (P=0.105).
Mirror therapy led to improvements in upper limb spasticity and motor function in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients. No effects on functional independence were observed. Further research with a larger number of patients is needed to provide more robust evidence of the benefits of mirror therapy in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients.
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