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 Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>