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Programmable Robotic Therapy Reduces Stroke Disability in Chronic Stroke

By Kerr, Martha; Rehab Management,
Publication Date: February 23, 2009

News story discusses a computer-aided physical therapy program that combines premotor or sensory function with motor-function tasks to reduce disability after stroke. According to researchers, the therapy is targeted to specific areas of the brain that were hit by the stroke. The researchers at the University of California, Irvine randomized 15 patients with chronic stroke and right-arm weakness to either robot-assisted motor-function therapy only or to a similar program combined with visual cues which prompted the patient to initiate various motor activities. The cues would change periodically, requiring the patient to integrate new sensory information with the motor tasks. Patients were assessed at baseline, then underwent 2 weeks of robotic therapy followed by reassessment 2 weeks after completion of treatment. While all patients improved, therapy involving the premotor cortex was found to help more than motor therapy alone.
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