Rehabilitation robots improve detection of post-stroke impairments and can enhance the type and intensity of therapy required for recovery, according to a study presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress.
Researchers studied 185 subjects -- 87 recovering from stroke and 98 people unaffected by stroke -- and found that tests using a robot better measure patients' sense of limb position, speed and direction of limb movement. Patients were assessed approximately 15 days after stroke.
"For years, therapists have known that limb awareness is very important to predicting a person's outcomes after stroke. Yet we have never before been able to quantify it," says lead researcher Dr. Sean Dukelow. "Identifying these deficits opens the door to the next step: how do we treat it?"
Until now, rehabilitation experts have relied on their judgment and subjective rating scales to assess impairment after stroke. Robotic technology standardizes these measurements.
"Awareness and control of our limbs' location allows us to do everyday things like reach for a coffee cup while watching television," Dr. Dukelow says.
In the Calgary study, a robotic frame moved each patient's stroke-affected arm at a preset speed and direction while they attempted to mirror its movement with their unaffected arm. Participants were not able to rely on their vision for assistance.
Dr. Dukelow and his team found:
- 20 per cent of the stroke patients failed to acknowledge that the robot had moved their affected arm;
- 70 per cent of stroke patients took significantly longer to react to the robot's movements;
- 78 per cent of stroke patients had significantly impaired sense of movement direction; and
- 69 per cent had diminished ability to match movement speed.
"Impaired limb function is a serious problem for people with stroke," says Dr. Mark Bayley, Co-Chair of the Canadian Stroke Congress and Medical Director of the Neurological Rehabilitation Program at Toronto Rehab. "It can prevent people from performing small daily tasks that give them some measure of independence."
The final goal of precise assessment is more patient-specific treatment, a concept Dr. Dukelow calls "personalized medicine." Ideally, robotics will be used to guide patients through the repetitive movements and personalized treatment plans required to remap the brain and restore function.
"Rehabilitation is an important part of recovering from stroke," says Ian Joiner, the director of stroke for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, who is also a physiotherapist. "Robotic technology is very useful supplement to traditional rehab. The end result – the one we're all working toward – is better patient care and improved recovery."The Canadian Stroke Congress is co-hosted by the Canadian Stroke Network, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Stroke Consortium.
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine