Posts Tagged motor learning

[WEB SITE] The Newest Technology Impacting Physical Therapy – Virtual Reality

Digital technologies are increasingly becoming more important in the medical sphere every single day. Already, technologies like telemedicine have proven to be an effective method of treatment and has quickly gained in popularity over the years proving that technology can swiftly replace old systems with new, more efficient methods of treatment. Now, a new technology called Virtual Reality is coming into the therapy world and is changing it forever.
 
HOW IS VR IMPACTING PHYSICAL THERAPY?
Virtual Reality (VR) is now being used by physical therapists for the successful treatment of stroke victims, walking disorders and back pain. The technology has been shown to improve the patients motor learning and coordination skills by using gamified, immersive environments that have been created to help patients suffering from pain and injury relearn the use of their limbs in a way that is motivating and fun.
 
WHY IT MATTERS
Lets be honest, most times physical therapy can be a painful and overwhelming experience. With VR, the patient is able to experience a three-dimensional world surrounding their vision that is quite convincing to the sense’s. Many people report that they actually feel present in another environment, separate from reality. This is the element that aids in eliminating pain during exercises and encourages more repeat workouts. For example, if the patient was exercising their lower limbs, they would be able to appear as if they are walking on a beach or in a forest instead of on a boring treadmill. In another scenario, if the patient was exercising their upper extremities, then they could experience the thrill of being rewarded for successfully climbing up a mountain. Games like this provide motivation at home for the patient to continue exercising, enabling them with visual data on how they are improving their range of motion. These type of “experiences” help to keep the patient on the right path outside of the treatment room, which is a huge bonus because studies have shown that only 30% of exercises get accomplished after leaving rehabilitation.
 
 
What this will do to the therapy industry is still unknown but it is obvious that there is enormous potential for this technology to impact it in a large way.

 

via The Newest Technology Impacting Physical Therapy – Virtual Reality

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[Abstract] Robotic and Sensor Technology for Upper Limb Rehabilitation

Abstract

Robotic and sensor-based neurologic rehabilitation for the upper limb is an established concept for motor learning and is recommended in many national guidelines. The complexity of the human hands and arms and the different activities of daily living are leading to an approach in which robotic and sensor-based devices are used in combination to fulfill the multiple requirements of this intervention.

A multidisciplinary team of the Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi (FDG), an Italian nonprofit foundation, which spans across the entire Italian territory with 28 rehabilitation centers, developed a strategy for the implementation of robotic rehabilitation within the FDG centers. Using an ad hoc form developed by the team, 4 robotic and sensor-based devices were identified among the robotic therapy devices commercially available to treat the upper limb in a more comprehensive way (from the shoulder to the hand). Encouraging results from a pilot study, which compared this robotic approach with a conventional treatment, led to the deployment of the same set of robotic devices in 8 other FDG centers to start a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Efficiency and economic factors are just as important as clinical outcome.

The comparison showed that robotic group therapy costs less than half per session in Germany than standard individual arm therapy with equivalent outcomes. To ensure access to high-quality therapy to the largest possible patient group and lower health care costs, robot-assisted group training is a likely option.

 

via Robotic and Sensor Technology for Upper Limb Rehabilitation – ScienceDirect

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[TEDx Talks] A critical window for recovery after stroke – John Krakauer – Johns Hopkins University – YouTube

Δημοσιεύτηκε στις 8 Απρ 2015
Dr. John Krakauer, a Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, co-founded the KATA project that combines concepts of neurology and neuroscience with interactive entertainment and motion capture technology to learn how lesions affect motor learning and to aid patients in recovering from brain injury.
Dr. John Krakauer is a Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, the Director of the Center for the Study of Motor Learning and Brain Repair, and the Director of Brain, Learning, Animation, and Movement Lab (BLAM) at Johns Hopkins. He received his undergraduate and master’s degree from Cambridge University and earned his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. His clinical and research expertise is in stroke, ischemic cerebrovascular disease, cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, and venous and sinus thrombosis.
He co-founded the KATA project that combines concepts of neurology and neuroscience with interactive entertainment and motion capture technology to learn how lesions affect motor learning and to aid patients in recovering from brain injury.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

 

via A critical window for recovery after stroke | John Krakauer | TEDxJohnsHopkinsUniversity – YouTube

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[Abstract] A Dual-Learning Paradigm Simultaneously Improves Multiple Features of Gait Post-Stroke

Background. Gait impairments after stroke arise from dysfunction of one or several features of the walking pattern. Traditional rehabilitation practice focuses on improving one component at a time, which may leave certain features unaddressed or prolong rehabilitation time. Recent work shows that neurologically intact adults can learn multiple movement components simultaneously.

Objective. To determine whether a dual-learning paradigm, incorporating 2 distinct motor tasks, can simultaneously improve 2 impaired components of the gait pattern in people posttroke.

Methods. Twelve individuals with stroke participated. Participants completed 2 sessions during which they received visual feedback reflecting paretic knee flexion during walking. During the learning phase of the experiment, an unseen offset was applied to this feedback, promoting increased paretic knee flexion. During the first session, this task was performed while walking on a split-belt treadmill intended to improve step length asymmetry. During the second session, it was performed during tied-belt walking.

Results. The dual-learning task simultaneously increased paretic knee flexion and decreased step length asymmetry in the majority of people post-stroke. Split-belt treadmill walking did not significantly interfere with joint-angle learning: participants had similar rates and magnitudes of joint-angle learning during both single and dual-learning conditions. Participants also had significant changes in the amount of paretic hip flexion in both single and dual-learning conditions.

Conclusions. People with stroke can perform a dual-learning paradigm and change 2 clinically relevant gait impairments in a single session. Long-term studies are needed to determine if this strategy can be used to efficiently and permanently alter multiple gait impairments.

via A Dual-Learning Paradigm Simultaneously Improves Multiple Features of Gait Post-Stroke – Kendra M. Cherry-Allen, Matthew A. Statton, Pablo A. Celnik, Amy J. Bastian, 2018

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[Abstract] A Dual-Learning Paradigm Simultaneously Improves Multiple Features of Gait Post-Stroke

Background. Gait impairments after stroke arise from dysfunction of one or several features of the walking pattern. Traditional rehabilitation practice focuses on improving one component at a time, which may leave certain features unaddressed or prolong rehabilitation time. Recent work shows that neurologically intact adults can learn multiple movement components simultaneously.

Objective. To determine whether a dual-learning paradigm, incorporating 2 distinct motor tasks, can simultaneously improve 2 impaired components of the gait pattern in people posttroke.

Methods. Twelve individuals with stroke participated. Participants completed 2 sessions during which they received visual feedback reflecting paretic knee flexion during walking. During the learning phase of the experiment, an unseen offset was applied to this feedback, promoting increased paretic knee flexion. During the first session, this task was performed while walking on a split-belt treadmill intended to improve step length asymmetry. During the second session, it was performed during tied-belt walking.

Results. The dual-learning task simultaneously increased paretic knee flexion and decreased step length asymmetry in the majority of people post-stroke. Split-belt treadmill walking did not significantly interfere with joint-angle learning: participants had similar rates and magnitudes of joint-angle learning during both single and dual-learning conditions. Participants also had significant changes in the amount of paretic hip flexion in both single and dual-learning conditions.

Conclusions. People with stroke can perform a dual-learning paradigm and change 2 clinically relevant gait impairments in a single session. Long-term studies are needed to determine if this strategy can be used to efficiently and permanently alter multiple gait impairments.

via A Dual-Learning Paradigm Simultaneously Improves Multiple Features of Gait Post-Stroke – Kendra M. Cherry-Allen, Matthew A. Statton, Pablo A. Celnik, Amy J. Bastian, 2018

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[Abstract] Combining functional electrical stimulation and mirror therapy for upper limb motor recovery following stroke: a randomised trial

Introduction: There is a growing need to develop effective rehabilitation interventions for people presenting with stroke as healthcare services experience ever-increasing pressures on staff and resources. The primary objective of this research is to examine the effect that mirror therapy combined with functional electrical stimulation has on upper limb motor recovery and functional outcome for a sample of people admitted to an inpatient stroke unit.

Methods: A total of 50 participants were randomised to one of three treatment arms; Functional Electrical Stimulation, Mirror therapy or a combined intervention of Functional Electrical Stimulation with Mirror therapy. Socio-demographic and health information was collected at recruitment together with admission dates, medical diagnoses and baseline measures. Blinded assessments were undertaken at baseline and at discharge post-stroke by a registered physiotherapist and a clinical nurse specialist.

Results: The Action Research Arm Test and the Fugl–Meyer Upper Extremity assessment revealed statistically superior results for Functional Electrical Stimulation compared with Mirror therapy alone (p = 0.03). There were no other significant differences between the three groups.

Conclusion: The theory of combining interventions requires further investigation and warrants further research. Combining current interventions may have the potential to enhance stroke rehabilitation, improve functional outcomes and help reduce the overall burden of stroke.

 

via Combining functional electrical stimulation and mirror therapy for upper limb motor recovery following stroke: a randomised trial: European Journal of Physiotherapy: Vol 0, No 0

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[ARTICLE] Combining Upper Limb Robotic Rehabilitation with Other Therapeutic Approaches after Stroke: Current Status, Rationale, and Challenges – Full Text

Abstract

A better understanding of the neural substrates that underlie motor recovery after stroke has led to the development of innovative rehabilitation strategies and tools that incorporate key elements of motor skill relearning, that is, intensive motor training involving goal-oriented repeated movements. Robotic devices for the upper limb are increasingly used in rehabilitation. Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of these devices in reducing motor impairments, but less so for the improvement of upper limb function. Other studies have begun to investigate the benefits of combined approaches that target muscle function (functional electrical stimulation and botulinum toxin injections), modulate neural activity (noninvasive brain stimulation), and enhance motivation (virtual reality) in an attempt to potentialize the benefits of robot-mediated training. The aim of this paper is to overview the current status of such combined treatments and to analyze the rationale behind them.

1. Introduction

Significant advances have been made in the management of stroke (including prevention, acute management, and rehabilitation); however cerebrovascular diseases remain the third most common cause of death and the first cause of disability worldwide [16]. Stroke causes brain damage, leading to loss of motor function. Upper limb (UL) function is particularly reduced, resulting in disability. Many rehabilitation techniques have been developed over the last decades to facilitate motor recovery of the UL in order to improve functional ability and quality of life [710]. They are commonly based on principles of motor skill learning to promote plasticity of motor neural networks. These principles include intensive, repetitive, task-oriented movement-based training [1119]. A better understanding of the neural substrates of motor relearning has led to the development of innovative strategies and tools to deliver exercise that meets these requirements. Treatments mostly target the neurological impairment (paresis, spasticity, etc.) through the activation of neural circuits or by acting on peripheral effectors. Robotic devices provide exercises that incorporate key elements of motor learning. Advanced robotic systems can offer highly repetitive, reproducible, interactive forms of training for the paretic limb, which are quantifiable. Robotic devices also enable easy and objective assessment of motor performance in standardized conditions by the recording of biomechanical data (i.e., speed, forces) [2022]. This data can be used to analyze and assess motor recovery in stroke patients [2326]. Since the 1990s, many other technology-based approaches and innovative pharmaceutical treatments have also been developed for rehabilitation, including virtual reality- (VR-) based systems, botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) injections, and noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) (Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)). There is currently no high-quality evidence to support any of these innovative interventions, despite the fact that some are used in routine practice [27]. By their respective mechanisms of action, each of these treatments could potentiate the effects of robotic therapy, leading to greater improvements in motor capacity. The aim of this paper is to review studies of combined treatments based on robotic rehabilitation and to analyze the rationale behind such approaches.[…]

 

Continue —> Combining Upper Limb Robotic Rehabilitation with Other Therapeutic Approaches after Stroke: Current Status, Rationale, and Challenges

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[Abstract] The application of virtual reality in neuro-rehabilitation: motor re-learning supported by innovative technologies

Abstract

The motor function impairment resulting from a stroke injury has a negative impact on autonomy, the activities of daily living thus the individuals affected by a stroke need long-term rehabilitation. Several studies have demonstrated that learning new motor skills is important to induce neuroplasticity and functional recovery. Innovative technologies used in rehabilitation allow one the possibility to enhance training throughout generated feedback. It seems advantageous to combine traditional motor rehabilitation with innovative technology in order to promote motor re-learning and skill re-acquisition by means of enhanced training. An environment enriched by feedback involves multiple sensory modalities and could promote active patient participation. Exercises in a virtual environment contain elements necessary to maximize motor learning, such as repetitive and diffe-rentiated task practice and feedback on the performance and results. The recovery of the limbs motor function in post-stroke subjects is one of the main therapeutic aims for patients and physiotherapist alike. Virtual reality as well as robotic devices allow one to provide specific treatment based on the reinforced feedback in a virtual environment (RFVE), artificially augmenting the sensory information coherent with the real-world objects and events. Motor training based on RFVE is emerging as an effective motor learning based techniques for the treatment of the extremities.

 

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[ARTICLE] Using Virtual Reality to Transfer Motor Skill Knowledge from One Hand to Another – Full Text

Abstract

As far as acquiring motor skills is concerned, training by voluntary physical movement is superior to all other forms of training (e.g. training by observation or passive movement of trainee’s hands by a robotic device). This obviously presents a major challenge in the rehabilitation of a paretic limb since voluntary control of physical movement is limited. Here, we describe a novel training scheme we have developed that has the potential to circumvent this major challenge. We exploited the voluntary control of one hand and provided real-time movement-based manipulated sensory feedback as if the other hand is moving. Visual manipulation through virtual reality (VR) was combined with a device that yokes left-hand fingers to passively follow right-hand voluntary finger movements. In healthy subjects, we demonstrate enhanced within-session performance gains of a limb in the absence of voluntary physical training. Results in healthy subjects suggest that training with the unique VR setup might also be beneficial for patients with upper limb hemiparesis by exploiting the voluntary control of their healthy hand to improve rehabilitation of their affected hand.

Introduction

Physical practice is the most efficient form of training. Although this approach is well established1, it is very challenging in cases where the basic motor capability of the training hand is limited2. To bypass this problem, a large and growing body of literature examined various indirect approaches of motor training.

One such indirect training approach uses physical practice with one hand to introduce performance gains in the other (non-practiced) hand. This phenomenon, known as cross-education (CE) or intermanual transfer, has been studied extensively 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and used to enhance performance in various motor tasks 10,11,12. For instance, in sport skill settings, studies have demonstrated that training basketball dribbling in one hand transfers to increased dribbling capabilities in the other, untrained hand 13,14,15.

In another indirect approach, motor learning is facilitated through the use of visual or sensory feedback. In learning by observation, it has been demonstrated that significant performance gains can be obtained simply by passively observing someone else perform the task16,17,18,19,20. Similarly, proprioceptive training, in which the limb is passively moved, was also shown to improve performance on motor tasks 12,21,22,23,24,25,26.

Together, these lines of research suggest that sensory input plays an important role in learning. Here, we demonstrate that manipulating online sensory feedback (visual and proprioceptive) during physical training of one limb results in augmented performance gain in the opposite limb. We describe a training regime that yields optimal performance outcome in a hand, in the absence of its voluntary physical training. The conceptual novelty of the proposed method resides in the fact that it combines the three different forms of learning – namely, learning by observation, CE, and passive movement. Here we examined whether the phenomenon of CE, together with mirrored visual feedback and passive movement, can be exploited to facilitate learning in healthy subjects in the absence of voluntary physical movement of the training limb.

The concept in this setup differs from direct attempts to physically train the hand. At the methodological level – we introduce a novel setup including advanced technologies such as 3D virtual reality, and custom built devices that allow manipulating visual and proprioceptive input in a natural environmental setting. Demonstrating improved outcome using the proposed training has key consequences for real-world learning. For example, children use sensory feedback in a manner that is different from that of adults27,28,29 and in order to optimize motor learning, children may require longer periods of practice. The use of CE together with manipulated sensory feedback might reduce training duration. Furthermore, acquisition of sport skills might be facilitated using this kind of sophisticated training. Finally, this can prove beneficial for the development of a new approach for rehabilitation of patients with unilateral motor deficits such as stroke.[…]

Continue —> Using Virtual Reality to Transfer Motor Skill Knowledge from One Hand to Another

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[Abstract+References] Non-invasive Cerebellar Stimulation: a Promising Approach for Stroke Recovery?

Abstract

Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) combined with behavioral training is a promising strategy to augment recovery after stroke. Current research efforts have been mainly focusing on primary motor cortex (M1) stimulation. However, the translation from proof-of-principle to clinical applications is not yet satisfactory. Possible reasons are the heterogeneous properties of stroke, generalization of the stimulation protocols, and hence the lack of patient stratification. One strategy to overcome these limitations could be the evaluation of alternative stimulation targets, like the cerebellum. In this regard, first studies provided evidence that non-invasive cerebellar stimulation can modulate cerebellar processing and linked behavior in healthy subjects. The cerebellum provides unique plasticity mechanisms and has vast connections to interact with neocortical areas. Moreover, the cerebellum could serve as a non-lesioned entry to the motor or cognitive system in supratentorial stroke. In the current article, we review mechanisms of plasticity in the cortico-cerebellar system after stroke, methods for non-invasive cerebellar stimulation, and possible target symptoms in stroke, like fine motor deficits, gait disturbance, or cognitive impairments, and discuss strategies for multi-focal stimulation.

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