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JRRD tipsheet: Focus on stroke, Parkinson's treatment, wheelchair durability

Chronic stroke patients benefit from robotic upper-limb rehabilitation, pg. 717
Intense, short-term, upper-limb robotic therapy improved motor outcomes among chronic stroke patients. Investigators enrolled 30 patients with upper-limb impairment due to stroke. Over 3 weeks, 18 sessions of robot-assisted therapy were delivered with the use of a robotic exercise device. Significant improvements were observed for severely impaired participants, which indicates that improvement is not limited to individuals with moderate impairments. Moderately and severely impaired patients tolerated intense, frequent, and repetitive treatment. This information is useful for determining the optimal target population, intensity, and duration of robotic therapy and the necessary sample size for a larger trial.

Robotics and functional neuromuscular stimulation improve arm/hand use following stroke, pg. 723
Stroke patients improved functional use of their impaired arms and hands by participating in robotics plus motor learning or neuromuscular stimulation plus motor learning. Investigators randomly assigned patients with chronic stroke to one of two treatment groups: robotics with motor learning (ROB-ML) or functional neuromuscular stimulation with motor learning (FNS-ML). All participants received treatment 5 hours a day, 5 days a week for 12 weeks. Results showed that ROB-ML participants had gains in functional tasks, accuracy, and smoothness of movement. FNS-ML participants had gains in upper-limb coordination and hand/wrist function.

Narrative discourse evaluation identifies subtle changes in language poststroke, pg. 737
Researchers used narrative discourse to identify patients experiencing language difficulties poststroke. A cohort of individuals who had experienced a left-hemisphere stroke and had not been diagnosed with a language disorder were evaluated for narrative discourse cohesiveness at 1, 6, and 12 months poststroke. Da
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Contact: Dr. Stacieann Yuhasz
yuhasz@vard.org
410-962-1800 x240
VA Research Communications Service
10-May-2006


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