Sitting and thinking, or just sitting?

Patients recovering from brain injuries such as strokes often experience difficulties carrying out two activities at the same time, according to researchers in the School of Psychology at the University of Reading.

Most of us can walk, cycle or drive and carry on a conversation at the same time because the combination of motor actions is so well-practised it has become automatic. However, when people have to relearn the basic postural control that enables them to sit, stand or walk safely, they need to attend to the individual components, thus limiting the attention capacity available for any other activity.

For example, if asked a question while laying the table, some patients might have to stop, answer the question, then resume laying the table.

Dr Janet Cockburn, along with her colleagues Jason Boyd, Clare Harley and Professor John Wann, has been investigating hand control, walking and sitting in people who are recovering from stroke. The research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

“We have used a method which identifies the difference between someone’s performance on a task when they devote all their attention to it and when attention is shared with another activity,” says Dr Cockburn. “The research is ongoing, but we have found that patients recovering from brain injuries show greater cognitive-motor interference (CMI) when attempting a combination of activities than do age-matched volunteers.

“However, there are quite wide differences in the extent of interference shown by individual patients. We have not yet been able to identify the most important factors influencing recovery and reduction of CMI, but performance tends to be influenced by age as well as injury.”

The researchers have now begun a study evaluating the benefits of computer-guided practice in motor control, both for recovery of motor skills and for reduction in CMI. ‘Virtual’ environments allow patients access to a range of simulations of everyday activities, matched to their needs and stage of recovery, while also providing instant feedback on performance and progress.

Dr Cockburn said: “If it proves to be successful, this adjunct to conventional therapy will increase patient autonomy and reduce demands on scarce community physiotherapy and occupational therapy resources.”

Media Contact

Craig Hillsley alfa

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.reading.ac.uk

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Health and Medicine

This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.

Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

Key breakthrough towards on-site cancer diagnosis

No stain? No sweat: Terahertz waves can image early-stage breast cancer without staining. A team of researchers at Osaka University, in collaboration with the University of Bordeaux and the Bergonié…

A CNIO team describes how a virus can cause diabetes

It has recently been described that infection by some enteroviruses – a genus of viruses that commonly cause diseases of varying severity – could potentially trigger diabetes, although its direct…

Targeting the shell of the Ebola virus

UD research team looking at ways to destabilize virus, knock it out with antivirals. As the world grapples with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, another virus has been raging again in…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close