Neuroplasticity and the Tutor system – ArmTutor LegTutor HandTutor

Reported on Jan 17, 2012 for EXPRESSINDIA.COM
Scientists demonstrate neuroplasticity and compensation in Orthopedic injury patients where their injury and trauma has meant that their dominant hand has been tied up in a sling and not used!!!
Did you break your dominant right hand? Don’t worry about it. Your brain will know it and will compensate for it by enabling you to function better like a lefty.
Researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland found that when people have a sling or cast  on their dominant hand after an injury, brain areas that are responsible for compensating for the injured side build up.
“LiveScience” reported that the researchers also saw decreases in the size of brain areas sidelined because of the cast .
 The researchers studied 10 right-handed people who had an injury to  their upper right arm and had to wear a cast or sling for at least 2 weeks, restricting that hand to little or no movement during that time period.
Because of the restriction, the participants had to use their normal left hand for all daily activities, such as using a toothbrush, writing or eating. None of the participants had a brain injury, nerve injury or psychiatric disease.
Researchers took magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the subjects’ brains to measure the amount of gray and white matter in the brain within two days of the injury and then 16 days after they began wearing the sling.
The researchers also tested the participants’ motor skills, including their arm-hand and wrist-finger movements.
Grey and white brain matter in the brain increased or decreased depending on whether the hand was restrained or not. There was an increase if the hand was unrestricted  and there was a decrease if the hand was immobilized.
The structural changes in the brain are associated with skill transfer from the right hand to the left hand.
The findings are crucial to better understand or adjust rehabilitation therapy for people who have suffered strokes or other disabling injuries or illnesses.
When there is an affected limb due to an injury or disease the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR and LEGTUTOR have shown to be superb medical devices in physical rehabilitation and occupational therapy.
These innovative devices implement an impairment based program with augmented motion feedback that encourages motor learning through intensive active exercises and movement practice. Intensive active practice of the non dominant hand is exactly what has caused the improvement in functional ability when the dominant hand was in the sling as the injury repaired itself. The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR consist of wearable glove and braces that detect limb movements showing the patient how much active or assisted  movement they are actually accomplishing. The rehabilitation software uses special rehabilitation games to set a new target  in terms of the patient’s ability to move their limb. The devices then measure the limb movement and give feedback on the success to the patient in  this new objective. In this  way the patient is given  feedback that allows him to understand which effort is more successful in  moving their affected limb again. Subsequently the TUTOR system provides exercises that are challenging and motivating and allow for repetitive and intensive exercise practice. The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR are now part of the rehabilitation program of leading U.S. German, Italian, French, UK, Polish and other foreign hospitals. See WWW.HANDTUTOR.COM for more information.

One response to this post.

  1. […] How the Tutors Are Used in Rehabilitative Therapy for Non-Restrained Limbs ( […]


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