Robotics and other devices in the treatment of patients recovering from stroke
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Stroke is the leading cause of permanent disability in the United States despite advances in prevention and novel interventional treatments. Randomized controlled studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of specialized post-stroke rehabilitation units, but administrative orders have severely limited the length of stay, so novel approaches to the treatment of recovery need to be tested in outpatients. Although the mechanisms of stroke recovery depend on multiple factors, a number of techniques that concentrate on enhanced exercise of the paralyzed limb have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing the motor impairment. For example, interactive robotic devices are new tools for therapists to deliver enhanced sensorimotor training for the paralyzed upper limb, which can potentially improve patient outcome and increase patient productivity. New data support the idea that for some post-stroke patients and for some aspects of training-induced recovery, timing of the training may be less important than the quality and intensity of the training. The positive outcome that resulted in the interactive robotic trials contrasts with the failure to find a beneficial result in trials that used a noninteractive device that delivered continuous passive motion only. New pilot data from novel devices to move the wrist demonstrate benefit and suggest that successive improvement of the function of the arm progressing to the distal muscles may eventually lead to significant disability reduction. These data from robotic trials continue to contribute to the emerging scientific basis of neuro-rehabilitation.
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- Robotics and other devices in the treatment of patients recovering from stroke
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
Volume 5, Issue 6 , pp 465-470
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