Posts Tagged Motor function
[ARTICLE] Using Brain Oscillations and Corticospinal Excitability to Understand and Predict Post-Stroke Motor Function – Full Text
What determines motor recovery in stroke is still unknown and finding markers that could predict and improve stroke recovery is a challenge. In this study, we aimed at understanding the neural mechanisms of motor function recovery after stroke using neurophysiological markers by means of cortical excitability (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – TMS) and brain oscillations (electroencephalography – EEG). In this cross-sectional study, fifty-five subjects with chronic stroke (62±14 yo, 17 women, 32±42 months post-stroke) were recruited in two sites. We analyzed TMS measures (i.e. motor threshold – MT – of the affected and unaffected sides) and EEG variables (i.e. power spectrum in different frequency bands and different brain regions of the affected and unaffected hemispheres) and their correlation with motor impairment as measured by Fugl-Meyer. Multiple univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to identify the predictors of good motor function. A significant interaction effect of MT in the affected hemisphere and power in beta bandwidth over the central region for both affected and unaffected hemispheres was found. We identified that motor function positively correlates with beta rhythm over the central region of the unaffected hemisphere, while it negatively correlates with beta rhythm in the affected hemisphere. Our results suggest that cortical activity in the affected and unaffected hemisphere measured by EEG provides new insights on the association between high frequency rhythms and motor impairment, highlighting the role of excess of beta in the affected central cortical region in poor motor function in stroke recovery.
Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and disability worldwide (1, 2). Among the sequels of stroke, motor impairment is one of the most relevant, since it conditions the quality of life of patients, it reduces their capability to perform their daily activities and it impairs their autonomy (3). Despite the advancements of the acute stroke therapy, patients require an intensive rehabilitation program that will partially determine the extent of their recovery (4). These rehabilitation programs aim at stimulating cortical plasticity to improve motor performance and functional recovery (5). However, what determines motor improvement is still unknown. Indeed, finding markers that could predict and enhance stroke recovery is still a challenge (6). Different types of biomarkers exist: diagnostic, prognostic, surrogate outcome, and predictive biomarkers (7). The identification of these biomarkers is critical in the management of stroke patients. In the field of stroke research, great attention has been put to biomarkers found in the serum, especially in acute care. However, research on biomarkers of stroke recovery is still limited, especially using neurophysiological tools.
A critical research area in stroke is to understand the neural mechanisms underlying motor recovery. In this context, neurophysiological techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) are useful tools that could be used to identify potential biomarkers of stroke recovery. However, there is still limited data to draw further conclusions on neural reorganization in human trials using these techniques. A few studies have shown that, in acute and sub-acute stage, stroke patients present increased power in low frequency bands (i.e., delta and theta bandwidths) in both affected and unaffected sides, as well as increased delta/alpha ratio in the affected brain area; these patterns being also correlated to functional outcome (8–11). Recently, we have identified that, besides TMS-indexed motor threshold (MT), an increased excitability in the unaffected hemisphere, coupled with a decreased excitability in the affected hemisphere, was associated with poor motor function (12), as measured by Fugl-Meyer (FM) [assessing symptoms severity and motor recovery in post-stroke patients with hemiplegia—Fugl-Meyer et al. (13); Gladstone et al. (14)]. However, MT measurement is associated with a poor resolution as it indexes global corticospinal excitability. Therefore, combining this information with direct cortical measures such as cortical oscillations, as measured by EEG, can help us to understand further neural mechanisms of stroke recovery.
To date, there are very few studies looking into EEG and motor recovery. For that reason, we aimed, in the present study, to investigate the relationship between motor impairment, EEG, and TMS variables. To do so, we conducted a prospective multicenter study of patients who had suffered from a stroke, in which we measured functional outcome using FM and performed TMS and EEG recordings. Based on our preliminary work, we expected to identify changes in interhemispheric imbalances on EEG power, especially in frequency bands associated with learning, such as alpha and beta bandwidths. […]
The aim of this review was to summarize the evidence for the effectiveness of low-frequency (LF) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the unaffected hemisphere in promoting functional recovery after stroke. We performed a systematic search of the studies using LF-rTMS over the contralesional hemisphere in stroke patients and reviewed the 67 identified articles. The studies have been gathered together according to the time interval that had elapsed between the stroke onset and the beginning of the rTMS treatment. Inhibitory rTMS of the contralesional hemisphere can induce beneficial effects on stroke patients with motor impairment, spasticity, aphasia, hemispatial neglect and dysphagia, but the therapeutic clinical significance is unclear. We observed considerable heterogeneity across studies in the stimulation protocols. The use of different patient populations, regardless of lesion site and stroke aetiology, different stimulation parameters and outcome measures means that the studies are not readily comparable, and estimating real effectiveness or reproducibility is very difficult. It seems that careful experimental design is needed and it should consider patient selection aspects, rTMS parameters and clinical assessment tools. Consecutive sessions of rTMS, as well as the combination with conventional rehabilitation therapy, may increase the magnitude and duration of the beneficial effects. In an increasing number of studies, the patients have been enrolled early after stroke. The prolonged follow-up in these patients suggests that the effects of contralesional LF-rTMS can be long-lasting. However, physiological evidence indicating increased synaptic plasticity, and thus, a more favourable outcome, in the early enrolled patients, is still lacking. Carefully designed clinical trials designed are required to address this question. LF rTMS over unaffected hemisphere may have therapeutic utility, but the evidence is still preliminary and the findings need to be confirmed in further randomized controlled trials.
- motor function,
- repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation,
[ARTICLE] Impact of virtual reality games on psychological well-being and upper limb performance in adults with physical disabilities: A pilot study – Full Text PDF
Introduction: There is limited information regarding the effects of interactive virtual reality (VR) games on psychological and physical well-being among adults with physical disabilities. We aimed to examine the impact of VR games on psychological well-being, upper limb motor function and reaction time in adults with physical disabilities.
Methods: Fifteen participants completed the intervention using Wii VR games in this pilot study. Depressive, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS) and Capabilities of Upper Extremity (CUE) questionnaires were used to measure psychological well-being and upper limb motor function respectively. Upper limb reaction time was measured using reaction time test.
Results: Results showed that there was a significant difference (p<0.05) in DASS questionnaire and average reaction time score after intervention.
Conclusion: There is a potential for using interactive VR games as an exercise tool to improve psychological wellbeing and upper limb reaction time among adults with disabilities.
Adults with disabilities around the world have been estimated to be around one billion, which consist of 15% of the world’s population.1 In Malaysia, there are approximately 300,000 adults with disabilities.2 Impairments in cardiovascular fitness, balance, motor control, sensation, proprioception and coordination are common in adults with physical disabilities.3 These impairments can lead to functional dependence, poor quality of life, limited mobility and decreased participation in leisure activities.
Opportunities to participate in regular exercise are especially important for groups that are less physically active than the
general population. This is because adults with disabilities are more prone to secondary complications such as pain, fatigue and de-conditioning.4 Virtual reality (VR) games are games played in a stimulated 3-dimensional (3D) environment. VR games have been developed for leisure activities but we found VR to be beneficial for rehabilitation in our local studies.5-7
Involvement in physical activity among people with disabilities is limited. Utilisation of technology may promote adherence, motivation and participation in physical activity and exercise programmes. However, as opposed to conventional rehabilitation and physiotherapy for adults with disabilities, evidence of VR games in improving function is limited. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the impact of VR games on psychological well-being, upper limb motor function and reaction time in adults with physical disabilities. …
[ARTICLE] The effect of bilateral trainings on upper extremities muscle activation on level of motor function in stroke patients – Full Text PDF
[Purpose] This study was conducted in order to compare muscle activation level on the affected and unaffected limb according to the recovery level of upper limb between bilateral activity with hands clasped and bilateral activity with pilates ring.
[Subjects and Methods] Twenty inpatient who have had a stroke were recruited. Subjects were divided into two groups by the Fugl-Meyer Assessment of Motor Function score of moderately recovered group and well recovered group. The muscles activation of upper extremity and Co-Contraction Ratio (CCR) were analyzed.
[Results] In the muscles activation of the well group, trapezius, anterior deltoid, and triceps muscles of affected side and biceps muscles of both sides were significantly higher when activity with pilates ring than activity with hands clasped. CCR of both side in the well group was significantly decreased during activity with pilates ring and in the moderate group, CCR of affected side was significantly decreased during activity with pilates ring.
[Conclusion] Bilateral activity with a pilates ring is more effective than activity with hands clasped for the facilitation of muscle activation and coordination in stroke patients.
Functional limitation imposed due to a paretic upper limb affects more than 80% of stroke survivors1) . Upper limb impairment is the leading cause of limitation of motor function. Therefore, restoration of upper limb function is an essential aspect of stroke rehabilitation for regaining functional independency2) . An abnormal pattern of upper limb movement may occur caused by the compensation for muscle paralysis and imbalance. By training to perform a functional task, movement re-education is used to treat the abnormal pattern of muscle weakness3) . Although rehabilitation specialists are trying various approaches to facilitate the restoration of upper limb function, rehabilitation of upper limb function remains a challenge. Consequently, a number of researchers and therapists are seeking more effective therapeutic techniques of upper limb rehabilitation to restore voluntary motor control. Bilateral training (BT) is a therapeutic technique of upper limb rehabilitation. A recent meta-analysis revealed that BT has a positive effect on poststroke upper limb rehabilitation4) . BT induces motor synergy between limbs to activate the motor capacity of the affected limb. In other words, voluntary movements of the unaffected limb facilitate voluntary movements of the affected limb5) . Activation of the primary and supplementary motor cortex for the unaffected limb increases voluntary muscle contraction of the affected limb during symmetrical movements6) . Even though BT is performed by using both the unaffected and the affected limbs simultaneously, most studies have reported the effect of BT on the affected limb. Morris & Wijck reported one randomized controlled trial that investigated the effect of BT on the unaffected limb. In that report, subjects were classified into two groups, the bilateral group and unilateral group divided who scored ≤6 on the motor assessment7) . However, no study has addressed the effect of upper limb muscle activation on the unaffected limb during bilateral activity and the comparison of change in activity between the affected and unaffected limbs. The effect of BT on the recovery level of the upper limb remains unclear. BT includes various activities such as targeted reaching activity using a peg, grasping and bringing a glass to the mouth, picking up and placing a towel, and manipulating and playing cards. While various activities are used, it is important to ensure that the movements involve both the upper limbs4) . For assessing bilateral activity, movements involving hand clasped or grasping and lifting up an instrument such as a rod are used. However, no study has investigated the difference in amounts of upper limb muscle activation between bilateral activity with hands clasped and bilateral activity while lifting an instrument. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to compare the muscle activation level on the affected and unaffected limbs according to the recovery level of the upper limb between bilateral activity with hands clasped and bilateral activity with a pilates ring.
[Abstract] Gaming-based virtual reality therapy for the rehabilitation of upper extremity function after stroke.
Objective To investigate the effects of playing virtual reality games on the recovery of hemiplegic upper extremities after stroke.
Methods Thirty stroke patients with hemiplegic upper extremities were randomly assigned to a treatment group (n=15) or a control group (n=15).Both groups received routine medication and conventional physical therapy,while the treatment group was additionally given (Nintendo) gaming-based virtual reality therapy.Before and after 2 weeks of treatment,the patients in both groups were evaluated using the Fugl-Meyer Assessment for the Upper Extremities (FMA-UE),Brunnstrom staging and co-contraction ratios (CRs).Surface electromyogram signals from the biceps brachii and triceps brachii were also recorded during maximum isometric voluntary flexion and extension of the affected elbow.
Results No significant differences in any of the measurements were observed between the 2 groups before or after the intervention.Both groups demonstrated significant increases in their average FMA-UE score,Brunnstrom staging and CRs.
Conclusions Virtual reality gaming using a Wii controller is as effective as conventional therapy in enhancing upper extremity motor function and elbow flexion and extension after stroke.
[ARTICLE] Virtual Reality for Stroke Rehabilitation: Assessment, Training and the Effect of Virtual Therapy – Full Text HTML/PDF
[VIDEO] Mind-blowing! A shirt that creates functional electric stimulation, helps regain lost motor function – YouTube
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[Abstract] Robotic approaches for the rehabilitation of upper limb recovery after stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
This systematic review with a meta-analysis of studies was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of robotic training (RT) and conventional training (CT) in improving the motor recovery of paretic upper limbs in stroke patients. Numerous electronic databases were searched from January 2000 to May 2016. Finally, 13 randomized-controlled trials fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in the three meta-analyses. The first meta-analysis carried out for those studies using RT for stroke patients indicated a significant improvement in the RT groups. The second meta-analysis suggested that the upper limb function (measured by Fugl-Meyer test) was significantly improved when RT was used with CT compared with CT alone. The third meta-analysis noted a significant difference in motor recovery between the CT-only and RT groups (RT only or RT combined with CT) in the chronic stages of stroke, but not in the acute or subacute stages. However, the RT group also showed a higher Fugl-Meyer score in patients at both the acute and the subacute stage. RT appeared to have positive outcomes to enhance motor recovery of the paralyzed upper limb. Robotic devices were believed to provide more assistance to patients to help support the weight of the upper limb; thus, active movement training can begin in the early rehabilitation stage. These novel devices may also help those chronic patients to achieve better rehabilitation goals. As a summary, RT could be used in addition to CT to help both therapists and patients in the management of the paralyzed upper limb.