The journal called ”Brain” featured an article on July 31, 2012 about a development that could revolutionize rehabilitation for stoke patients
. University of Auckland researchers have shown how it may be possible to predict potential recovery in stroke patients for hand and arm function. Realistic goals for recovery may be set for patients and trial outcomes for new therapies may have also have better results through this approach.
According to Professor Winston Byblow one out of every six people will have a stroke at some time during their life. Until now comparisons were made as to the rehabilitation outcome were made based on group and symptom similarity. . ”We have developed the first clinical algorithm to actually predict the individual patient’s potential for recovery based on information gathered before rehabilitation even begins.” said Byblow. This will allow an individualization of the patient’s rehabilitation plan.
The group administered a test to the hospitalized stroke patient within 3 days of the event. It is very quick and requires no special equipment. Dr Cathy Stinear, who authored the journal article, explains that in some cases additional testing may be required such as an MRI to determine whether the pathways in the particular side of the brain remain viable and to measure the integrity of neural pathways from the brain to the arm. When the algorithm is combined with the results of the tests a prediction can be made about patient recovery at 12 weeks which is when therapy would normally end.
The information gleaned from this new test can be used to customize rehabilitation for the patient before it even begins. It is the first study to predict an individual’s potential for motor function recovery using test results obtained from that patient in the first days after stroke, according to Neurologist Professor Alan Barber, a member of the research team and Head of the Auckland Hospital Stroke Service .
The research team is now in a three year trial period of the algorithm method to show if the outcomes really benefit the patient and increases the efficiency of hospital rehabilitation services
Once that prediction is made and actual rehabilitation commences the physical therapy product of choice may well be the HANDTUTOR and ARMTUTOR.
The HANDTUTOR and ARMTUTOR™ have been developed to allow for functional rehabilitation of the upper extremity including the shoulder,arm, elbow and wrist. The system, recommended for use for a variety of injuries and diseases including stroke, Parkinson’s, CP, MS and other upper and lower limb disabilities
, consists of an ergonomic wearable glove and arm brace together with dedicated rehabilitation software. The TUTOR systems (including the LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR) allow the physical and occupational therapist to report on and evaluate the patient’s functional rehabilitation progress. This allows them to prescribe the correct customized and motivating intensive exercise practice to the manual rehabilitation therapy. Intensive repetition of movement is achieved through challenging games set to the patient’s ability. The system provides detailed exercise performance instructions and precise feedback on the patient’s efforts. Controlled exercise of multijoints within the normal movement pattern prevents the development of undesired and compensatory joint movement and ensures better performance of functional tasks. Telerehabilitation allows the recovering patient to continue his physical therapy at home. The system is used by many leading rehabilitation centers worldwide and has full FDA
and CE certification. See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for more information.