Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Imagining movement of affected limbs aids stroke rehabilitation

08.10.2003


Imagining movement of arms and legs that have been weakened from stroke may facilitate functional recovery of affected limbs, a Northwestern University study has found.



The effects of stroke vary, based on the type of stroke and its severity and location in the brain. The majority of strokes affect one of the brain’s hemispheres, resulting in muscle weakness or paralysis on the opposite side of the body -- a condition known as hemiparesis.

Jennifer A. Stevens and co-researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago used a motor imagery training program for patients with hemiparesis, consisting of imagined wrist movements and mental simulations of reaching and object manipulation making use of a mirror-box apparatus.


An article describing their study appeared in a recent issue of Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The intervention targets the cognitive level of action processing, while its effects may be realized in overt behavioral performance, said Stevens, research assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Feinberg School.

"Actions generated using motor imagery adhere to the same movement rules and constraints that physical movements follow, and the neural network involved in motor imagery and motor execution overlap in areas of the brain concerned with movement," said Stevens. The program consisted of three one-hour sessions for four consecutive weeks. The first task was computer-facilitated motor imagery training, during which time the participant was instructed to explicitly imagine his/her own hand completing a movement just observed on a computer screen.

For the second task, simulating, for example, the left arm moving, the investigators had the participant move the right arm around in the mirror-box workspace, resulting in a reflection of the affected left limb moving about successfully in space. Participants were instructed to "imagine the reflected limb actually is your limb moving about."

Results showed that performance of the affected limb improved after the imagery intervention, indicated by increases in assessment scores and functionality and decreases in movement times.

Stevens and colleagues found that the greatest increases in function generally occurred during the month of intervention, suggesting that the behavioral effects were associated with the actual practice of mental simulation. It also is possible that motor simulation therapy in early stages of recovery -- that is, less than six months -- may increase the degree of this effect, Stevens said.

Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nwu.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University

nachricht Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Desert ants cannot be fooled

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

By saving cost and energy, the lighting revolution may increase light pollution

23.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Retreating permafrost coasts threaten the fragile Arctic environment

23.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>