Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Calling GPs and stroke patients for research into constraint-induced movement therapy

08.09.2004


Traditional treatment of movement problems for people who have suffered traumatic brain injury or strokes has mainly focused on making the best use of motor functions the patient has retained. A team at the University of Surrey is now examining a method which focuses on improving the weaker arm of patients with upper body hemiparesis (hand/arm disability resulting from brain damage). Professor Annette Sterr and her Clinical Neuroscience Research Group are carrying out a five-year study into the practical clinical application of constraint-induced movement therapy (CIT) and the brain mechanisms thought to make the treatment successful. The study is funded by a £760k Career Establishment Grant from the Medical Research Council.



CIT was founded in the US by Professor Edward Taub. He demonstrated that if monkeys with a disabled upper limb had their stronger arm constrained for several consecutive days whilst training their disabled limb using a behavioural learning technique called ‘shaping’, they would regain some use of the disabled limb. Professor Taub then tried this treatment with stroke patients with reduced hand function, constraining their good arms for 90% of waking hours for two weeks, whilst their affected arms were shaped for six hours a day by performing increasingly difficult arm movements. All the patients showed a marked improvement.

Such research would not be viable in rehabilitation clinics, as they are not designed to see patients for such long periods, and the longer therapy sessions may be too strenuous for many stroke victims. The study aims to build on Professor Sterr’s previous work which achieved significant results using shorter training periods and without constraining the good arm. The project also aims to understand the brain mechanisms linked to CIT success by studying brain images with fMRI and recording electrical activity in the brain with EEG. Professor Sterr says: “We know that recovery from brain damage relies on the rewiring of brain circuits and that this process can be stimulated by the tasks you give your brain to do. It is believed that intensive training helps the regain of function by engaging neurons so new brain connections can be formed. By studying electrical activity and images of the brain before and after treatment we are able to test this theory”.


The study at UniS will test 112 volunteers who have limited movement in one side of their upper body following a brain injury or stroke at least 12 months previously. Each volunteer will undergo fMRI scans and EEG recordings before and after treatment. The fMRI scanner is a research-only scanner, which allows the team to look at the functioning of the brain, in addition to brain structure shown by MRI scanners.

One group of volunteers will receive standard CIT treatment, while in a further four groups the length of training will vary, as will the use of a constraint. Training will last for two or three weeks, with follow ups every six months for two years. Once back at home, the volunteers will be given a programme of tasks to practise every day.

Group research officer Amy Saunders recently spent three weeks at the University of Alabama studying with Professor Taub, and is now looking to recruit volunteers for the UniS study. Patients need to be low functioning and the approval of their GP will be sought before they can be considered for the study.

Stuart Miller | alfa
Further information:
http://www.surrey.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller 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: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>