Posts Tagged Movement

[Abstract] Breaking Proportional Recovery After Stroke

People with hemiparesis after stroke appear to recover 70% to 80% of the difference between their baseline and the maximum upper extremity Fugl-Meyer (UEFM) score, a phenomenon called proportional recovery (PR). Two recent commentaries explained that PR should be expected because of mathematical coupling between the baseline and change score. Here we ask, If mathematical coupling encourages PR, why do a fraction of stroke patients (the “nonfitters”) not exhibit PR? At the neuroanatomical level of analysis, this question was answered by Byblow et al—nonfitters lack corticospinal tract (CST) integrity at baseline—but here we address the mathematical and behavioral causes. We first derive a new interpretation of the slope of PR: It is the average probability of scoring across remaining scale items at follow-up. PR therefore breaks when enough test items are discretely more difficult for a patient at follow-up, flattening the slope of recovery. For the UEFM, we show that nonfitters are most unlikely to recover the ability to score on the test items related to wrist/hand dexterity, shoulder flexion without bending the elbow, and finger-to-nose movement, supporting the finding that nonfitters lack CST integrity. However, we also show that a subset of nonfitters respond better to robotic movement training in the chronic phase of stroke. These persons are just able to move the arm out of the flexion synergy and pick up small blocks, both markers of CST integrity. Nonfitters therefore raise interesting questions about CST function and the basis for response to intensive movement training.

via Breaking Proportional Recovery After Stroke – Merav R. Senesh, David J. Reinkensmeyer, 2019

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[WEB SITE] Neurorehabilitation: Fighting strokes with robotics

Having a stroke can be a scary experience, but the long road to recovery might be getting shorter, thanks to research out of ECU.

Imagine suddenly losing control of a limb or your ability to communicate.

And while this happens, excruciating pain spreads across your head.

This was Joanna’s experience when she had a  at the age of 44.

“I was sick three days up to having my stroke,” Joanna explains. “I had vomiting, headaches and was not making much sense when talking.”

“Three days later, I was sitting down and then it felt like my head was being squeezed between two vices. Excruciating pain.”

Risk factor

In Australia, strokes affect around 55,000 people a year and are the third most common cause of death and a leading cause of disability.

There’s a range of factors that increase the risk of strokes, including diet, exercise and .

But one of the most telling  is, simply, age.

From the age of 45, the risk of a stroke in men is one in four, and for women, it’s one in five.

Fortunately, our knowledge of strokes and how to combat them has improved a lot in the past few decades.

A big part of the solution is getting help quickly, according to Edith Cowan University (ECU) Professor Dylan Edwards.

“If it’s the blockage of a blood vessel, it can be treated very well by anti-coagulant therapy that will break up the blood clot and restore the blood flow to the brain,” Dylan says.

“Typically, you notice somebody is having a stroke by them having issues with their speech or they have a weakness or funny sensation in one side of their body.”

But surviving a stroke is only part of the journey, and with 65% of stroke survivors suffering from some form of disability, restoring motor skills is a critical part of rehabilitation.

Road to recovery

Recovery from stroke can be a long and frustrating road for even the smallest paralysation.

For stroke survivor Joanna, the frustration she felt not being able to move normally made the recovery process even more challenging.

“The emotional side of having the stroke has affected me more than anything else,” Joanna says.

“You slowly get used to the fact that you can’t move your left side, and you know that you’ll get therapy. But when I had people come visit, when they left, I was in tears [out of frustration].”

Joanna eventually started to get some feeling back in her left side, just to her thumb at first.

“It was still a shock that I had lost all of that, so just a little bit of movement was enough to keep me going and stay motivated.”

Fighting back with technology

At ECU’s Lab for NeuroRehabilitation and Robotics, Dylan and his team have been researching how to help people recover their motor control after a brain or spinal cord injury.

Part of their research focuses on understanding the recovery of stroke survivors, using a robotic sensory platform called the Kinarm Exoskeleton Lab.

“The Kinarm looks like a fancy piece of gym equipment,” Dylan explains. “You sit inside the device and position your arms on top of movable handles, and you’re wheeled into this virtual reality environment.”

For the user in the chair, it feels like you’re playing a series of games, moving the chair’s arms to get a response on the screen—such as bouncing balls off paddles.

But the real work is happening behind the scenes.

“All of this information is acquired by these high-powered computers and analysed for how the person is performing,” Dylan says. “This [helps] identify the precise proprioceptive issue with an individual stroke survivor so we can prescribe therapy more effectively.”

In simplest terms, the Kinarm helps identify issues where the user is telling their arm to move but the resulting movement is not what they were trying to do.

This could be an arm not extending the full distance or slower reaction times.

With strokes usually affecting one side of the body more than the other, the unaffected side can provide a good baseline for what their normal reactions should be.

But what if both sides of the body have been affected? The Kinarm can pick up on that too, detecting deficits in what would be considered the unaffected side and showing this in the test results.

R&R—Robotics and Recovery

For Joanna, using the Kinarm has been a challenging experience, even three years after her stroke.

“It actually made you concentrate more in the game to hit the balls coming down,” she explains.

“I think that made you use the brain to try and keep up with your eye, which it didn’t, but I gave it my best shot. I also noticed my peripheral vision has gone.”

“It highlighted for me the improvements I have got since my stroke, which is nice for me three years on to see how it was then to what I could actually achieve on the Kinarm now.”

The data collected helps doctors prescribe the most beneficial treatment for their patients, based on the results of the tests.

Whether it’s heading towards recovering the function in a limb or something as simple as the mobility of a single joint, Dylan believes even small changes are worth pursuing.

“Some degree of independence—even though it might be apparent to an onlooker or a carer—can be very meaningful for a patient.”

“Small changes that we have made in the past through prescribing therapies effectively are things like being able to stabilise yourself on the train and send a text message.”

Recovering movement and lives

While full recovery from a stroke is not guaranteed, any improvement to quality of life can mean everything for survivors. Restoring simple movements can help patients build up their self-confidence to return to their everyday lives.

“Often stroke patients are in the older age bracket, and many of them are working,” Dylan says. “It’s very depressing to be disengaged from a functional work life, and going back to work might just be having the confidence of turning over a page of paper at your desk.”

As we learn more about how the body and brain recover after these , there’s hope we can find ways to better support those who have experienced extensive motor damage.

While there’s medication and training regimes to follow, at its core, it comes down to the drive to actively engage in recovering.

And even if it’s just through small victories, a spark from ECU’s Lab for NeuroRehabilitation and Robotics could help light the fire of determination in .


Explore further

Regulating blood supply to limbs improves stroke recovery

 

via Neurorehabilitation: Fighting strokes with robotics

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[Abstract] Poststroke Fatigue Is Related to Motor and Cognitive Performance

Abstract

Background and Purpose: Poststroke fatigue (PSF) is a common debilitating and persistent symptom after stroke. The relationship between PSF and motor and cognitive function remains inconclusive partly due to lack of control for effects of depression and use of insensitive measures. We examined the relationship between PSF and motor and cognitive performance using a comprehensive set of behavioral measures and excluding individuals with depression.

Methods: Fifty-three individuals poststroke (16 female) were included (median age: 63 years, median months poststroke: 20 months). Poststroke fatigue was quantified using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and cognitive performance was measured with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, simple and choice reaction time (SRT and CRT) tasks. Lower extremity motor performance included Fugl-Meyer Motor Assessment, 5 times sit-to-stand test (5 × STS), Berg Balance Scale, Functional Ambulation Category, and gait speed. Upper extremity motor performance was indexed with Fugl-Meyer, grip strength, and Box and Block test. Spearman correlation and stepwise linear regression analyses were performed to examine relationships.

Results: Two motor performance measures, Berg Balance Scale and Functional Ambulation Category, were significantly correlated with FSS (ρ = −0.31 and −0.27, respectively) while all cognitive measures were significantly correlated with FSS (ρ = −0.28 for Montreal Cognitive Assessment, 0.29 for SRT, and 0.29 for CRT). Regression analysis showed that Berg Balance Scale was the only significant determinant for FSS (R2 = 0.11).

Discussion and Conclusions: Functional gait, balance, and cognitive performance are associated with PSF. Fatigue should be considered when planning and delivering interventions for individuals with stroke. Future studies are needed to explore the potential efficacy of balance and cognitive training in PSF management.

Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at: http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A287).

 

via Poststroke Fatigue Is Related to Motor and Cognitive Perform… : Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy

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[ARTICLE] Upper Limb Kinematics in Stroke and Healthy Controls Using Target-to-Target Task in Virtual Reality – Full Text

Background: Kinematic analysis using virtual reality (VR) environment provides quantitative assessment of upper limb movements. This technique has rarely been used in evaluating motor function in stroke despite its availability in stroke rehabilitation.

Objective: To determine the discriminative validity of VR-based kinematics during target-to-target pointing task in individuals with mild or moderate arm impairment following stroke and in healthy controls.

Methods: Sixty-seven participants with moderate (32–57 points) or mild (58–65 points) stroke impairment as assessed with Fugl-Meyer Assessment for Upper Extremity were included from the Stroke Arm Longitudinal study at the University of Gothenburg—SALGOT cohort of non-selected individuals within the first year of stroke. The stroke groups and 43 healthy controls performed the target-to-target pointing task, where 32 circular targets appear one after the other and disappear when pointed at by the haptic handheld stylus in a three-dimensional VR environment. The kinematic parameters captured by the stylus included movement time, velocities, and smoothness of movement.

Results: The movement time, mean velocity, and peak velocity were discriminative between groups with moderate and mild stroke impairment and healthy controls. The movement time was longer and mean and peak velocity were lower for individuals with stroke. The number of velocity peaks, representing smoothness, was also discriminative and significantly higher in both stroke groups (mild, moderate) compared to controls. Movement trajectories in stroke more frequently showed clustering (spider’s web) close to the target indicating deficits in movement precision.

Conclusion: The target-to-target pointing task can provide valuable and specific information about sensorimotor impairment of the upper limb following stroke that might not be captured using traditional clinical scale.

Introduction

In stroke, the prevalence of upper limb impairment is approximately 50–80% in the acute phase (13) and 40–50% in the chronic phase (24). The frequently observed upper limb impairments after stroke are paresis, abnormal muscle tone, decreased somatosensation, and coordination. As a consequence of these impairments, individuals with stroke may experience reduced ability to perform everyday activities such as opening a door, handling a key, or working with a computer. Therefore, assessment of upper limb motor function is critical for determining the prognosis and evaluating the treatment effects following stroke (56).

The assessment of motor functions in stroke is usually performed using standardized clinical scales. Some of the most frequently used clinical instruments for assessing upper extremity impairment and activity capacity in stroke are Fugl-Meyer Assessment of Upper Extremity (FMA-UE) and Action Research Arm Test (ARAT) (79). These scales are reliable (1012) and responsive to change (1314) for measuring gross changes in motor function. They have also been recommended as core measures to be included in every stroke recovery trial (6). However, observer-based ordinal instruments like FMA-UE and ARAT lack the sensitivity to assess subtle, yet, potentially important changes in movement performance (15). These clinical scales tend to have ceiling effect since they rely on scoring criteria rather than a continuous measurement construct (16).

Kinematic assessment is one solution for the need for a more objective, accurate, and sensitive measurement method (6). Kinematic assessment is being increasingly used in upper limb evaluation after stroke, out of which motion capture systems (17), robotic devices, and virtual reality (VR) systems with haptic devices (18) have become popular in the last decade. Kinematic assessment has revealed that the arm movements in subjects with stroke are slower, less accurate, less smooth, and more segmented than healthy subjects (1926).

Kinematic assessment involving the use of VR with haptic device has shown to be a promising tool for upper limb stroke rehabilitation (2728). Despite the availability of the VR system for stroke rehabilitation, it has been rarely used in assessment of upper limb movements after stroke. Individuals with stroke use similar strategies for reaching objects in both real and virtual environments (29). Previous studies using the target-to-target pointing task have shown that the movement time, velocity, and trajectory straightness were improved after a 5-week computer gaming practice in individuals with stroke (30). Movement time, mean velocity, and trajectory straightness were also stable in a test–retest study in healthy subjects (31). A clear advantage with VR systems as a measurement tool is its standardized instructions, adaptation of tasks according to patients’ functioning level, and availability of quick feedback (32). The VR assessment and training are often described as enjoyable and challenging by the users (3334).

The target-to-target pointing task is similar to routinely used tasks in everyday life, such as interacting with touch screens, using electrical switches, and pushing buttons on various devices. The choice of a regularly performed, purposeful task for this study increases its ecological validity. With VR technologies becoming more available, it opens up an opportunity to use the VR interface to acquire accurate and detailed kinematic data of upper limb movements after stroke (35). The novelty of this study is in evaluating a compact and easy-to-use haptic device coupled with VR in 3D space in order to measure movement performance during a common upper limb task.

The aim of this study was to identify the end-point kinematic variables obtained during the VR-based target-to-target pointing task that discriminate among individuals with mild and moderate upper limb impairment after stroke and healthy controls.[…]

 

Continue —>  Frontiers | Upper Limb Kinematics in Stroke and Healthy Controls Using Target-to-Target Task in Virtual Reality | Neurology

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[Fact Sheet] Recovery After Stroke: Movement And Balance – PDF file

Moving around safely and easily may not be something you think about, unless you’ve had a stroke. Many stroke survivors have trouble moving around. These problems range from balance issues to arm or leg paralysis. As a result, about 40 percent of stroke survivors have serious falls within a year of their strokes. But, there is good news. Rehab and therapy may improve your balance and ability to move.

Download this fact sheet

via National Stroke Association at http://www.stroke.org

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[European Commission] Let the music move you: involvement of motor networks of the brain in music processing – CORDIS : Projects and Results

Objective

More —>  European Commission: CORDIS : Projects and Results : Let the music move you: involvement of motor networks of the brain in music processing

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[Editorial] Motor Priming for Motor Recovery: Neural Mechanisms and Clinical Perspectives – Neurology

Editorial on the Research Topic

Motor Priming for Motor Recovery: Neural Mechanisms and Clinical Perspectives

The Oxford dictionary defines the term priming as “a substance that prepares something for use or action.” In this special issue, we define motor priming as a technique, experience, or activity targeting the motor cortex resulting in subsequent changes in motor behavior. Inadequate functional recovery after neural damage is a persisting burden for many, and this insufficiency highlights the need for new neurorehabilitation paradigms that facilitate the capacity of the brain to learn and recover. The concept of motor priming has gained importance in the last decade. Numerous motor priming paradigms have emerged to demonstrate success to improve functional recovery after injury. Some of the successful priming paradigms that have shown to alter motor behavior and are easily implementable in clinical practice include non-invasive brain stimulation, movement priming, motor imagery, and sensory priming. The full clinical impact of these priming paradigms has not yet been realized due to limited evidence regarding neural mechanisms, safety and effectiveness, dosage, individualization of parameters, identification of the appropriate therapies that need to be provided in combination with the priming technique, and the vital time window to maximize the effectiveness of priming. In this special issue, four manuscripts address critical questions that will enhance our understanding of motor priming paradigms and attempt to bridge the gap between neurophysiology and clinical implementation.

In their study, “Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation to Enhance Upper Limb Motor Practice Poststroke: A Model for Selection of Cortical Site,” Harris-Love and Harrington elegantly address the extremely important issue of individualizing brain stimulation for upper limb stroke recovery. Many brain stimulation techniques show high interindividual variability and low reliability as the “one-size-for-all” does not fit the vast heterogeneity in recovery observed in stroke survivors. In this article, the authors propose a novel framework that personalizes the application of non-invasive brain stimulation based on understanding of the structural anatomy, neural connectivity, and task attributes. They further provide experimental support for this idea with data from severely impaired stroke survivors that validate the proposed framework.

The issue of heterogeneity poststroke is also addressed by Lefebvre and Liew in “Anatomical Parameters of tDCS to modulate the motor system after stroke: A review.” These authors discuss the variability in research using tDCS for the poststroke population. According to the authors, the most likely sources of variability include the heterogeneity of poststroke populations and the experimental paradigms. Individually based variability of results could be related to various factors including: (1) molecular factors such as baseline measures of GABA, levels of dopamine receptor activity, and propensity of brain-derived neurotropic factor expression; (2) time poststroke, (3) lesion location; (4) type of stroke; and (5) level of poststroke motor impairment. Variability related to experimental paradigms include the timing of the stimulation (pre- or post-training), the experimental task, and whether the protocol emphasizes motor performance (a temporary change in motor ability) or motor learning based (more permanent change in motor ability). Finally, the numerous possibilities of electrode placement, neural targets, and the different setups (monocephalic versus bi-hemispheric) add further complexity. For future work with the poststroke population, the authors suggest that tDCS experimental paradigms explore individualized neural targets determined by neuronavigation.

In another exciting study in this issue, Estes et al. tackle the timely topic of spinal reflex excitability modulated by motor priming in individuals with spinal cord injury. The authors choose to test four non-pharmacological interventions: stretching, continuous passive motion, transcranial direct current stimulation, and transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation to reduce spasticity. Three out of four techniques were associated with reduction in spasticity immediately after treatment, to an extent comparable to pharmacological approaches. These priming approaches provide a low-cost and low-risk alternative to anti-spasticity medications.

In another clinical study in individuals with spinal cord injury, Gomes-Osman et al. examined effects of two different approaches to priming. Participants were randomized to either peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) plus functional task practice, PNS alone, or conventional exercise therapy. The findings were unexpected. There was no change in somatosensory function or power grip strength in any of the groups. Interestingly, all of the interventions produced changes in precision grip of the weaker hand following training. However, only PNS plus functional task practice improved precision grip in both hands. The authors found that baseline corticospinal excitability were significantly correlated to changes in precision grip strength of the weaker hand. The lack of change in grip strength in any of the groups was surprising. Previous evidence suggests, however, that the corticomotor system is more strongly activated during precision grip as compared to power grip, and the authors suggest that interventions targeting the corticomotor system (i.e., various priming methods) may more strongly effect precision grip.

Overall, this special issue brings together an array of original research articles and reviews that further enhance our understanding of motor priming for motor recovery with an emphasis on neural mechanisms and clinical implementation. We hope that the studies presented encourage future studies on motor priming paradigms to optimize the potential for functional recovery in the neurologically disadvantaged population, and further our understanding of neuroplasticity after injury.

Author Contributions

SM and MS have made a substantial, direct, and intellectual contribution to the work and approved it for publication.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Funding

SM is supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health (R01HD075777).

Source: Frontiers | Editorial: Motor Priming for Motor Recovery: Neural Mechanisms and Clinical Perspectives | Neurology

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[BOOK] Neurophysiological Basis of Movement – Mark L. Latash – Google books

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Neurophysiological Basis of Movement, Second Edition, has been thoroughly updated and expanded, making it more comprehensive and accessible to students. With eight new chapters and 130 pages of fresh material, this second edition covers a wide range of topics, including movement disorders and current theories of motor control and coordination. By emphasizing the neurophysiological mechanisms relevant to the processes of generating voluntary movements, the text targets advanced undergraduates or beginning graduate students who want to better understand how the brain generates control signals and how the peripheral apparatus executes them.

The new chapters in Neurophysiological Basis of Movement, Second Edition, focus on motor control and motor synergies, prehension, changes in movement with aging, typical and atypical development, neuromuscular peripheral disorders, and disorders of the spinal cord, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and cortex. The text is designed so that instructors can cover all chapters or select the topics most relevant to their specific courses. In addition, this edition of Neurophysiological Basis of Movementoffers these features:

-A new reference section with more than 700 references, providing supplemental resources that encourage students to read and understand research literature on the neurophysiology of movements

-A more reader-friendly presentation of material with an added color, improved illustrations, and introductions to the chapters that provide better transitions

-A new PowerPoint presentation package that includes 8 to 15 slides of art and text for every chapter, helping instructors prepare for lectures and allowing students to better understand the material

Author Mark Latash presents the material using six levels, or worlds, of analysis of the neurophysiology of movements. These worlds are cells, connections, structures, behaviors (control and coordination), evolving and changing behaviors, and motor disorders. The first three levels are the basis for the analysis of a variety of actions, such as standing, locomotion, eye movements, and reaching. Further, changes in movement with fatigue, development, aging, disorder, and rehabilitation are discussed.

The text also presents six labs to help students perform experiments to address typical “template” research problems, and one-minute drills and self-test questions encourage students to think independently and to test their knowledge as they read. The answers to the self-test questions require students to think critically and explain why they selected a particular answer, as the problems have several answers with varying degrees of correctness.

Neurophysiological Basis of Movement, Second Edition, promotes independent thinking and enhances knowledge of basic facts about the design of cells, muscles, neuronal structures, and the whole body for better understanding of typical and atypical movement production related to the nervous system and the functioning brain.

Source: Neurophysiological Basis of Movement – Mark L. Latash – Βιβλία Google

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[Review] Motor Imagery-Based Rehabilitation: Potential Neural Correlates and Clinical Application for Functional Recovery of Motor Deficits after Stroke – Full Text PDF

ABSTRACT:

Motor imagery (MI), defined as the mental implementation of an action in the absence of movement or muscle activation, is a rehabilitation technique that offers a means to replace or restore lost motor function in stroke patients when used in conjunction with conventional physiotherapy procedures. This article briefly reviews the concepts and neural correlates of MI in order to promote improved understanding, as well as to enhance the clinical utility of MI-based rehabilitation regimens. We specifically highlight the role of the cerebellum and basal ganglia, premotor, supplementary motor, and prefrontal areas, primary motor cortex, and parietal cortex. Additionally, we examine the recent literature related to MI and its potential as a therapeutic technique in both upper and lower limb stroke rehabilitation.

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[ARTICLE] Usability evaluation of low-cost virtual reality hand and arm rehabilitation games – Full Text PDF

Abstract

The emergence of lower-cost motion tracking devices enables home-based virtual reality rehabilitation activities and increased accessibility to patients. Currently, little documentation on patients’ expectations for virtual reality rehabilitation is available.

This study surveyed 10 people with stroke for their expectations of virtual reality rehabilitation games. This study also evaluated the usability of three lowercost virtual reality rehabilitation games using a survey and House of Quality analysis. The games (kitchen, archery, and puzzle) were developed in the laboratory to encourage coordinated finger and arm movements.

Lower-cost motion tracking devices, the P5 Glove and Microsoft Kinect, were used to record the movements. People with stroke were found to desire motivating and easy-to-use games with clinical insights and encouragement from therapists. The House of Quality analysis revealed that the games should be improved by obtaining evidence for clinical effectiveness, including clinical feedback regarding improving functional abilities, adapting the games to the user’s changing functional ability, and improving usability of the motion-tracking devices.

This study reports the expectations of people with stroke for rehabilitation games and usability analysis that can help guide development of future games.

Full Text PDF

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