Tutor System Plays an Important Role in Home Based Stroke Rehabilitation

On February 11, 2011 Margo Warren and Marian Emr of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke report that in the largest stroke rehabilitation study ever conducted in the United States, stroke patients who had physical therapy at home improved their ability to walk just as well as those who were treated in a training program that requires the use of a body-weight supported treadmill device followed by walking practice.
The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, also found that patients continued to improve up to one year after stroke, defying conventional wisdom that recovery occurs early and tops out at six months.  In fact, even patients who started rehabilitation as late as six months after stroke were able to improve their walking.
 Walter Koroshetz, M.D., NINDS deputy director said  “The results of this study show that the more expensive, high tech therapy was not superior to intensive home strength and balance training, but both were better than lower intensity physical therapy.”
“We were pleased to see that stroke patients who had a home physical therapy exercise program improved just as well as those who did the locomotor training,” said Pamela W. Duncan, Ph.D., principal investigator of LEAPS, and professor at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C.  “The home physical therapy program is more convenient and pragmatic. Usual care should incorporate more intensive exercise programs that are easily accessible to patients to improve walking, function and quality of life.”
The home exercise programs require less expensive equipment, less training for the therapists and fewer clinical staff members.  The LEAPS authors suggest that this intervention may help keep stroke survivors active in their own homes and community environments.
The newly developed Tutor System consisting of the HandTutor, ArmTutor, LegTutor and 3DTutor has been designed to be used at home with telerehabilitation in addition to the hospital or outpatient clinic. It improves fine motor, sensory and cognitive impairments through augmented feedback for victims of stroke, Parkinson’s disease, MS, CP, Spinal cord,  brain,Radial/Ulnar nerve and Brachial Plexus injuries amongst other disabilities.
The Tutor system has been developed to allow for functional rehabilitation of the whole body including the upper and lower extremity. The system consists of ergonomic wearable devices and dedicated rehabilitation software that provide patient instructions and feedback to encourage intensive massed controlled exercise practice. The Tutor system allows for controlled exercise of multijoints within the normal movement pattern which prevents the development of undesired and compensatory joint movement and ensures better performance of functional tasks. Additional features of the Tutor system include quantitative evaluation and objective follow up.
The new medical devices are available for children as well as adults  and are FDA and CE certified. See www.HandTutor.com for more information.

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