Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rehabilitation robots uncover stroke disabilities and improve care: Study

01.10.2012
When it comes to stroke rehabilitation, it takes a dedicated team to help a person regain as much independence as possible: physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, recreation therapists, caregivers and others. Now, a University of Calgary research team has added a robot to help identify and customize post-stroke therapy.

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.

The Canadian Stroke Network, www.canadianstrokenetwork.ca, is a national research network headquartered at the University of Ottawa. It includes scientists, clinicians and health-policy experts committed to reducing the impact of stroke.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation, www.heartandstroke.ca, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke, reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy.

Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen.
For more information and/or interviews, contact
The CSC 2012 MEDIA OFFICE September 30 to October 2 at 403-218-7868
Cathy Campbell, Canadian Stroke Network, 613-852-2303 (cell)
Holly Roy, Heart and Stroke Foundation, 780-991-2323
Congress information is at www.strokecongress.ca

Cathy Campbell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.strokecongress.ca
http://www.canadianstrokenetwork.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School

nachricht Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>