Tutor System Able to Motivate Parkinson’s Patients in Physical Therapy

Drs. Elan D. Louis, Edward D. Huey, Marina Gerbin and Amanda S. Viner  published the following online  19 Dec. 2011
Apathy defined as decreased goal-directed activity has been observed in Parkinson’s disease. A number of cognitive and psychiatric features have been documented in essential tremor, yet there are few, if any,  studies of apathy.
Using the Apathy Evaluation Scale the results showed that Parkinson’s disease cases had the highest scores. Analyses stratified by presence/absence of depressive symptoms indicated the presence of a group of apathetic but nondepressed cases.
The Conclusions drawn were that patients with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and dystonia had elevated apathy scores. Features of apathy seemed to occur in these conditions independent of depressive symptoms. The  basis for the apparent increased features of apathy deserves further study.
The design of the Tutor system allows the patient to be more motivated by its use because of the specific features built in to it. Since the patient himself, rather than an external force, has to accomplish tasks and since those tasks are designed as games there is a greater chance that the patient will be less apathetic overall.
When Parkinson’s disease, TBI, SCI or any other upper or lower limb injury/surgery  occurs and recovery is progressing the Tutor system (HandTutor, ArmTutor, LegTutor, 3DTutor) has shown much success in rehabilitation of joint movement. The Tutor system consists of ergonomic wearable devices together with powerful dedicated rehabilitation software. The system is indicated for patients in rehabilitation centers, private clinics and the home where it can be supported by telerehabilitation. It is designed for those who have head, trunk, upper and lower extremity movement dysfunction.
The system consists of motivating and challenging games that allow the patient to practice isolated and/or interjoint coordination exercises. Controlled exercise practice will help to prevent the development of compensatory movement patterns. The dedicated software allows the therapist to fully customize the exercises to the patient’s movement ability. In addition the therapist can objectively and quantitatively evaluate and report on the treatment progress. The rehabilitation system optimizes the patient’s motor, sensory and cognitive performance and allows the patient to better perform everyday functional tasks to improve their quality of life. The Tutor system is FDA and CE certified. See http://www.HandTutor.com for more information.
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