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Sci Rep ; 13(1): 12838, 2023 08 08.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37553412

Understanding abnormal synergy of the upper extremity (UE) in stroke survivors is critical for better identification of motor impairment. Here, we investigated to what extent stroke survivors retain the ability to coordinate multiple joints of the arm during a reaching task. Using an exoskeleton robot, 37 stroke survivors' arm joint angles (θ) and torques (τ) during hand reaching in the horizontal plane was compared to that of 13 healthy controls. Kinematic and kinetic coordination patterns were quantified as variances of the multiple-joint angles and multiple-joint torques across trials, respectively, that were partitioned into task-irrelevant variance (TIVθ and TIVτ) and task-relevant variance (TRVθ and TRVτ). TIVθ and TRVθ (or TIVτ and TRVτ) led to consistent and inconsistent hand position (or force), respectively. The index of synergy (ISθ and ISτ) was determined as [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] for kinematic and kinetic coordination patterns, respectively. Both kinematic ISθ and kinetic ISτ in the stroke group were significantly lower than that of the control group, indicating stroke survivors had impaired reaching abilities in utilizing the multiple joints of the UE for successful completion of a reaching task. The reduction of kinematic ISθ in the stroke group was mainly attributed to the lower TIVθ as compared to the control group, while the reduction of kinetic ISτ was mainly due to the higher [Formula: see text] as well as lower TIVτ. Our results also indicated that stroke may lead to motor deficits in formation of abnormal kinetic synergistic movement of UE, especially during outward movement. The findings in abnormal synergy patterns provides a better understanding of motor impairment, suggesting that impairment-specific treatment could be identified to help improve UE synergies, focusing on outward movements.

Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Humans , Psychomotor Performance , Upper Extremity , Stroke/drug therapy , Movement , Hand , Biomechanical Phenomena , Ataxia , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1425: 437-442, 2023.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37581817

Stroke, as a disease, describes a group of disorders characterized by the presence of central nervous system symptoms either as a result of ischemia (ischemic stroke) or bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke). The appearance of a stroke results in a permanent physical or cognitive disability. The stroke incidence is the third cause of death after heart disease and cancer, and is the main cause of long-term disability.The effects of a stroke on a patient's daily life, and hence on his quality of life, are intense and long-lasting. These include memory problems, speech difficulty, depression, reduced vision loss, and decreased walking ability. This limitation of the patient's motor activity has a direct negative impact on the quality of his life.To investigate the degree of this impact, a research was carried out at a hospital of Central Greece. The total sample consisted of 90 patients and the responses showed that post-stroke symptoms are significant. Consequences and treatment control of the disease on the life of the sample were the questions with the highest score showing the significant effect that a stroke has on life the patients.More specifically, the sample showed through responses that the disease affects their lives to a great extent. The pre-stroke scores on the domains of the sample are clearly higher than post-stroke. The highest difference was found in the use of the upper extremities in self-care and family roles while the lowest was found in the domain of thinking. The most affected domains were as follows: thinking, vision, and language. Alternatively, the least affected domain was family roles.

Disabled Persons , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Humans , Quality of Life , Vision Disorders , Greece , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods
J Neuroeng Rehabil ; 20(1): 103, 2023 08 04.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37542335

BACKGROUND: Active upper extremity (UE) assistive devices have the potential to restore independent functional movement in individuals with UE impairment due to neuromuscular diseases or injury-induced chronic weakness. Academically fabricated UE assistive devices are not usually optimized for activities of daily living (ADLs), whereas commercially available alternatives tend to lack flexibility in control and activation methods. Both options are typically difficult to don and doff and may be uncomfortable for extensive daily use due to their lack of personalization. To overcome these limitations, we have designed, developed, and clinically evaluated the NuroSleeve, an innovative user-centered UE hybrid orthosis. METHODS: This study introduces the design, implementation, and clinical evaluation of the NuroSleeve, a user-centered hybrid device that incorporates a lightweight, easy to don and doff 3D-printed motorized UE orthosis and a functional electrical stimulation (FES) component. Our primary goals are to develop a customized hybrid device that individuals with UE neuromuscular impairment can use to perform ADLs and to evaluate the benefits of incorporating the device into occupational therapy sessions. The trial is designed as a prospective, open-label, single-cohort feasibility study of eight-week sessions combined with at-home use of the device and implements an iterative device design process where feedback from participants and therapists informs design improvement cycles. RESULTS: All participants learned how to independently don, doff, and use the NuroSleeve in ADLs, both in clinical therapy and in their home environments. All participants showed improvements in their Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), which was the primary clinical trial outcome measure. Furthermore, participants and therapists provided valuable feedback to guide further development. CONCLUSIONS: Our results from non-clinical testing and clinical evaluation demonstrate that the NuroSleeve has met feasibility and safety goals and effectively improved independent voluntary function during ADLs. The study's encouraging preliminary findings indicate that the NuroSleeve has met its technical and clinical objectives while improving upon the limitations of the existing UE orthoses owing to its personalized and flexible approach to hardware and firmware design. TRIAL REGISTRATION: identifier: NCT04798378, , date of registration: March 15, 2021.

Activities of Daily Living , Stroke Rehabilitation , Humans , Canada , Orthotic Devices , Printing, Three-Dimensional , Prospective Studies , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Upper Extremity , Feasibility Studies
J Neuroeng Rehabil ; 20(1): 102, 2023 08 04.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37542322

BACKGROUND: Overground exoskeleton gait training (OEGT) after neurological injury is safe, feasible, and may yield positive outcomes. However, no recommendations exist for initiation, progression, or termination of OEGT. This retrospective study highlights the clinical use and decision-making of OEGT within the physical therapy plan of care for patients after neurological injury during inpatient rehabilitation. METHODS: The records of patients admitted to inpatient rehabilitation after stroke, spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury who participated in at least one OEGT session were retrospectively reviewed. Session details were analyzed to illustrate progress and included: "up" time, "walk" time, step count, device assistance required for limb swing, and therapist-determined settings. Surveys were completed by therapists responsible for OEGT sessions to illuminate clinical decision-making. RESULTS: On average, patients demonstrated progressive tolerance for OEGT over successive sessions as shown by increasing time upright and walking, step count, and decreased assistance required by the exoskeleton. Therapists place preference on using OEGT with patients with more functional dependency and assess feedback from the patient and device to determine when to change settings. OEGT is terminated when other gait methods yield higher step repetitions or intensities, or to prepare for discharge. CONCLUSION: Our descriptive retrospective data suggests that patients after neurological injury may benefit from OEGT during inpatient rehabilitation. As no guidelines exist, therapists' clinical decisions are currently based on a combination of knowledge of motor recovery and experience. Future efforts should aim to develop evidence-based recommendations to facilitate functional recovery after neurological injury by leveraging OEGT.

Exoskeleton Device , Spinal Cord Injuries , Stroke Rehabilitation , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Inpatients , Exercise Therapy , Walking , Gait , Spinal Cord Injuries/rehabilitation , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods
BMJ Open ; 13(8): e065298, 2023 08 11.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37567748

INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of overground gait training using an exoskeletal wearable robot (exoskeleton) on the recovery of ambulatory function in patients with subacute stroke. We also investigate the assistive effects of an exoskeleton on ambulatory function in patients with subacute stroke. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study is an international, multicentre, randomised controlled study at five institutions with a total of 150 patients with subacute stroke. Participants will be randomised into two groups (75 patients in the robot-assisted gait training (RAGT) group and 75 patients in the control group). The gait training will be performed with a total of 20 sessions (60 min/session); 5 sessions a week for 4 weeks. The RAGT group will receive 30 min of gait training using an exoskeleton (ANGEL LEGS M20, Angel Robotics) and 30 min of conventional gait training, while the control group will receive 60 min conventional gait training. In all the patients, the functional assessments such as ambulation, motor and balance will be evaluated before and after the intervention. Follow-up monitoring will be performed to verify whether the patient can walk without physical assistance for 3 months. The primary outcome is the improvement of the Functional Ambulatory Category after the gait training. The functional assessments will also be evaluated immediately after the last training session in the RAGT group to assess the assistive effects of an exoskeletal wearable robot. This trial will provide evidence on the effects of an exoskeleton to improve and assist ambulatory function in patients with subacute stroke. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This protocol has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of each hospital and conforms to the Declaration of Helsinki. The results will be disseminated through publication. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Protocol was registered at (NCT05157347) on 15 December 2021 and CRIS (KCT0006815) on 19 November 2021.

Gait Disorders, Neurologic , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Wearable Electronic Devices , Humans , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Stroke/therapy , Walking , Physical Therapy Modalities , Gait , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Multicenter Studies as Topic
J Neuroeng Rehabil ; 20(1): 105, 2023 08 12.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37568195

BACKGROUND: Robotic therapy and serious gaming support motor learning in neurorehabilitation. Traditional monitor-based gaming outputs cannot adequately represent the third dimension, whereas virtual reality headsets lack the connection to the real world. The use of Augmented Reality (AR) techniques could potentially overcome these issues. The objective of this study was thus to evaluate the usability, feasibility and functionality of a novel arm rehabilitation device for neurorehabilitation (RobExReha system) based on a robotic arm (LBR iiwa, KUKA AG) and serious gaming using the AR headset HoloLens (Microsoft Inc.). METHODS: The RobExReha system was tested with eleven adult inpatients (mean age: 64.4 ± 11.2 years; diagnoses: 8 stroke, 2 spinal cord injury, 1 Guillain-Barré-Syndrome) who had paretic impairments in their upper limb. Five therapists administered and evaluated the system. Data was compared with a Reference Group (eleven inpatients; mean age: 64.3 ± 9.1 years; diagnoses: 10 stroke, 1 spinal cord injury) who trained with commercially available robotic therapy devices (ArmeoPower or ArmeoSpring, Hocoma AG). Patients used standardized questionnaires for evaluating usability and comfort (Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with assistive technology [QUEST]), workload (Raw Task Load Index [RTLX]) and a questionnaire for rating visual perception of the gaming scenario. Therapists used the QUEST, the System Usability Scale and the short version of the User Experience Questionnaire. RESULTS: Therapy with the RobExReha system was safe and feasible for patients and therapists, with no serious adverse events being reported. Patients and therapists were generally satisfied with usability. The patients' usability ratings were significantly higher in the Reference Group for two items of the QUEST: reliability and ease of use. Workload (RTLX) ratings did not differ significantly between the groups. Nearly all patients using the RobExReha system perceived the gaming scenario in AR as functioning adequately despite eight patients having impairments in stereoscopic vision. The therapists valued the system's approach as interesting and inventive. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated the clinical feasibility of combining a novel robotic upper limb robot with an AR-serious game in a neurorehabilitation setting. To ensure high usability in future applications, a reliable and easy-to-use system that can be used for task-oriented training should be implemented. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Ethical approval was obtained and the trial was registered at the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00022136).

Augmented Reality , Neurological Rehabilitation , Robotic Surgical Procedures , Spinal Cord Injuries , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Aged , Humans , Middle Aged , Feasibility Studies , Reproducibility of Results , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods
Am J Speech Lang Pathol ; 32(5): 2211-2231, 2023 09 11.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37566895

BACKGROUND: Care partners of people with aphasia after stroke need various informational supports, such as aphasia education and resources for psychosocial support. However, informational support may vary across clinicians, and access to these supports remains a persistent unmet need. Using implementation science frameworks can help to assess the gap between what is known about an issue and what is occurring in practice. AIM: The aim was to identify barriers to providing informational support for care partners of people with aphasia after stroke. METHOD AND PROCEDURE: We performed a secondary analysis of qualitative data collected from two of our previous studies. New themes were identified by comparing feedback from both speech-language pathologists and care partners, and previously assigned codes were interpreted relative to the Knowledge to Action (KTA) framework. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: We identified four implementation themes that were specifically related to the action cycle of the KTA framework: (a) Aphasia rehabilitation tends to exclude care partners, (b) aphasia rehabilitation can be hard to understand, (c) structure is lacking for care partner check-ins, and (d) care partner informational support rarely extends beyond the acute phases of recovery. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that changes are needed at both systemic and care provider levels to ensure that tailored information is provided to care partners of people with aphasia.

Aphasia , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Humans , Caregivers , Aphasia/diagnosis , Aphasia/etiology , Aphasia/therapy , Stroke/complications , Stroke/psychology , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Speech Therapy
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37578924

BACKGROUND: There is a worldwide health crisis stemming from the rising incidence of various debilitating chronic diseases, with stroke as a leading contributor. Chronic stroke management encompasses rehabilitation and reintegration, and can require decades of personalized medicine and care. Information technology (IT) tools have the potential to support individuals managing chronic stroke symptoms. OBJECTIVES: This scoping review identifies prevalent topics and concepts in research literature on IT technology for stroke rehabilitation and reintegration, utilizing content analysis, based on topic modelling techniques from natural language processing to identify gaps in this literature. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Our methodological search initially identified over 14,000 publications of the last two decades in the Web of Science and Scopus databases, which we filter, using keywords and a qualitative review, to a core corpus of 1062 documents. RESULTS: We generate a 3-topic, 4-topic and 5-topic model and interpret the resulting topics as four distinct thematics in the literature, which we label as Robotics, Software, Functional and Cognitive. We analyze the prevalence and distinctiveness of each thematic and identify some areas relatively neglected by the field. These are mainly in the Cognitive thematic, especially for systems and devices for sensory loss rehabilitation, tasks of daily living performance and social participation. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that IT-enabled stroke literature has focused on Functional outcomes and Robotic technologies, with lesser emphasis on Cognitive outcomes and combined interventions. We hope this review broadens awareness, usage and mainstream acceptance of novel technologies in rehabilitation and reintegration among clinicians, carers and patients.

Robotics , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Humans , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Stroke/psychology , Activities of Daily Living , Robotics/methods , Technology
Stroke ; 54(9): 2254-2264, 2023 09.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37577801

BACKGROUND: To determine if low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation targeting the primary motor cortex contralateral (M1CL) to the affected corticospinal tract in patients with hemiparetic stroke augments intensive training-related clinical improvement; an extension of the NICHE trial (Navigated Inhibitory rTMS to Contralesional Hemisphere Trial) using an alternative sham coil. METHODS: The present E-FIT trial (Electric Field Navigated 1Hz rTMS for Post-stroke Motor Recovery Trial) included 5 of 12 NICHE trial outpatient US rehabilitation centers. The stimulation protocol remained identical (1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, M1CL, preceding 60-minute therapy, 18 sessions/6 wks; parallel arm randomized clinical trial). The sham coil appearance mimicked the active coil but without the weak electric field in the NICHE trial sham coil. Outcomes measured 1 week, and 1, 3, and 6 months after the end of treatment included the following: upper extremity Fugl-Meyer (primary, 6 months after end of treatment), Action Research Arm Test, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, quality of life (EQ-5D), and safety. RESULTS: Of 60 participants randomized, 58 completed treatment and were included for analysis. Bayesian analysis of combined data from the E-FIT and the NICHE trials indicated that active treatment was not superior to sham at the primary end point (posterior mean odds ratio of 1.94 [96% credible interval of 0.61-4.80]). For the E-FIT intent-to-treat population, upper extremity Fugl-Meyer improvement ≥5 pts occurred in 60% (18/30) active group and 50% (14/28) sham group. Participants enrolled 3 to 6 months following stroke had a 67% (31%-91% CI) response rate in the active group at the 6-month end point versus 50% in the sham group (21.5%-78.5% CI). There were significant improvements from baseline to 6 months for both active and sham groups in upper extremity Fugl-Meyer, Action Research Arm Test, and EQ-5D (P<0.05). Improvement in National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale was observed only in the active group (P=0.004). Ten serious unrelated adverse events occurred (4 active group, 6 sham group, P=0.72). CONCLUSIONS: Intensive motor rehabilitation 3 to 12 months after stroke improved clinical impairment, function, and quality of life; however, 1 Hz-repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation was not an effective treatment adjuvant in the present sample population with mixed lesion location and extent. REGISTRATION: URL: https://www. CLINICALTRIALS: gov; Unique identifier: NCT03010462.

Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Humans , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Quality of Life , Bayes Theorem , Stroke/complications , Stroke/therapy , Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation/methods , Treatment Outcome , Upper Extremity , Recovery of Function
J Am Heart Assoc ; 12(16): e030472, 2023 08 15.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37581392

Background Laboratory-based assessments have shown that stroke recovery is heterogeneous between patients and affected domains such as motor and language function. However, laboratory-based assessments are not ecologically valid and do not necessarily reflect patients' daily life performance. Therefore, we aimed to give an innovative view on stroke recovery by profiling daily life performance recovery across domains in patients with early subacute stroke and determine their interrelatedness, taking stroke localization into account. Methods and Results Daily life performance was observed at neurorehabilitation admission and weekly thereafter until discharge, using a scale containing 7 daily life domains. Graphical modeling was applied to investigate the conditional independence between recovery of these domains depending on stroke localization. There were 592 patients analyzed. Four clusters of interrelated domains were identified within the first 6 weeks poststroke. The first cluster included recovery in learning and applying knowledge, general tasks and demands, and domestic life. The second cluster comprised recovery in self-care and general tasks and demands. The third cluster included recovery in mobility and self-care; it incorporated interpersonal interactions and relationships in left supratentorial stroke, and learning and applying knowledge in right supratentorial stroke. The final cluster included only communication recovery. Conclusions Daily life recovery dynamics early poststroke show that although impairments in body functions are anatomically determined, their impact on performance is comparable. Second, some, but by no means all, domains show an interrelated recovery. Domains requiring cognitive abilities are especially interrelated and seem to be essential for concomitant recovery in mobility and domestic life.

Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Humans , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Activities of Daily Living , Self Care , Communication , Recovery of Function
J Neurophysiol ; 130(3): 608-618, 2023 09 01.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37529847

Large bilateral asymmetry and task deficits are typically observed during bimanual actions of stroke survivors. Do these abnormalities originate from unilateral impairments affecting their more-impaired limb, such as weakness and abnormal synergy, or from bilateral impairments such as incoordination of two limbs? To answer this question, 23 subjects including 10 chronic stroke survivors and 13 neurologically intact subjects participated in an experiment where they produced bimanual forces at different hand locations. The force magnitude and directional deviation of the more-impaired arm were measured for unilateral impairments and bimanual coordination across locations for bilateral impairments. Force asymmetry and task error were used to define task performance. Significant unilateral impairments were observed in subjects with stroke; the maximal force capacity of their more-impaired arm was significantly lower than that of their less-impaired arm, with a higher degree of force deviation. However, its force contribution during submaximal tasks was greater than its relative force capacity. Significant bilateral impairments were also observed, as stroke survivors modulated two forces to a larger degree across hand locations but in a less coordinated manner than control subjects did. But only unilateral, not bilateral, impairments explained a significant amount of between-subject variability in force asymmetry across subjects with stroke. Task error, in contrast, was correlated with neither unilateral nor bilateral impairments. Our results suggest that unilateral impairments of the more-impaired arm of stroke survivors mainly contribute to its reduced recruitment, but that the degree of its participation in bimanual task may be greater than their capacity as they attempt to achieve symmetry.NEW & NOTEWORTHY We studied how unilateral and bilateral impairments in stroke survivors affect their bimanual task performance. Unilateral impairments of the more-impaired limb, both weakness and loss of directional control, mainly contribute to bimanual asymmetry, but stroke survivors generally produce higher force with their more-impaired limb than their relative capacity. Bilateral force coordination was significantly impaired in stroke survivors, but its degree of impairment was not related to their unilateral impairments.

Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Humans , Functional Laterality , Stroke/complications , Upper Extremity , Hand , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods
Med Sci Monit ; 29: e940511, 2023 Jul 15.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37452491

BACKGROUND Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability, often resulting in impaired mobility and gait abnormalities, necessitating effective rehabilitation approaches. Robotic-assisted gait training (RAGT) offers precise control and intensive, task-specific training. The EksoNR exoskeleton shows potential in facilitating gait recovery. This study assesses the efficacy and tolerability of RAGT using EksoNR in the rehabilitation of 19 stroke patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS A prospective nonrandomized, observational study design was employed with a single group convenience sample. The study included 19 individuals post-stroke, who underwent a 4-week rehabilitation program. Baseline and post-rehabilitation assessments were conducted using selected International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) codes, gait exoskeleton parameters (number of steps, walking time, time of verticalization) obtained during the exoskeleton sessions, and the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG). RESULTS The study revealed statistically significant improvements in all analyzed ICF categories, except for D530 Toileting, indicating enhanced functioning. The most notable improvements in activity and participation were observed in the categories of D410 Changing basic body position (-0.84±0.60) and D450 Walking (-0.84±0.60). Additionally, gait analysis demonstrated significant enhancements in the number of steps (difference of 506.79±252.49), walking time (13.02±7.91), and time of verticalization (11.82±9.21) (p>0.001). The TUG test also showed a statistically significant improvement in mobility (p=0.005). CONCLUSIONS This study supports previous findings, demonstrating that RAGT using the EksoNR lower extremity exoskeleton improves gait and functional status in stroke patients, while being well tolerated. The results highlight the potential of this approach for improved rehabilitation outcomes.

Exoskeleton Device , Robotic Surgical Procedures , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Humans , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Prospective Studies , Postural Balance , Time and Motion Studies , Exercise Therapy , Treatment Outcome , Gait , Lower Extremity
J Med Syst ; 47(1): 75, 2023 Jul 18.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37462759

Gait and dynamic balance are two main goals in neurorehabilitation that mHealth systems could address. To analyze the impact of using mHealth systems on gait and dynamic balance outcomes in subjects with neurological disorders. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) published in PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and PEDro databases were searched up to April 2023. Studies including adults with neurological disorders, analyzing the effectiveness of mHealth systems on gait and dynamic balance compared with conventional therapy and/or not intervention, were included. The PEDro scale and the Cochrane Collaboration's 2.0 tool were used for the methodological quality and risk of bias assessment. The Review Manager 5.4 software was used to obtain meta-analyses. 13 RCT were included in the systematic review and 11 in the meta-analyses, involving 528 subjects. A total of 21 mobile applications were identified for gait and balance training, and to enhance physical activity behaviors. There were significant differences in gait parameters, speed by 0.10 s/m (95% confidence interval (CI)=0.07,0.13;p<0.001), cadence by 8.01 steps/min (95%CI=3.30,12.72;p<0.001), affected step length by 8.89 cm (95%CI=4.88,12.90;p<0.001), non-affected step length by 8.08 cm (5%CI=2.64,13.51;p=0.004), and in dynamic balance, Timed Up and Go by -7.15 s (95%CI=-9.30,-4.99;p<0.001), and mobility subscale of Posture Assessment Scale for Stroke by 1.71 points (95%CI=1.38,2.04;p<0.001). Our findings suggested the use of mHealth systems for improving gait in subjects with neurological disorders, but controversial results on dynamics balance recovery were obtained. However, the quality of evidence is insufficient to strongly recommend them, so further research is needed.

Neurological Rehabilitation , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Telemedicine , Adult , Humans , Gait , Motor Activity , Postural Balance , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37478040

Abnormal muscle synergies during sit-to-stand (STS) transitions have been observed post-stroke, which are associated with deteriorated lower-limb function and mobility. Although exoskeletons have been used in restoring lower-limb function, their effects on muscle synergies and lower-limb motor recovery remain unclear. Here, we characterized normal muscle synergy patterns during STS activity in ten healthy adults as a reference, comparing with pathological muscle synergy patterns in ten participants with subacute stroke. Moreover, we assessed the effects of a 3-week exoskeleton-assisted STS training intervention on muscle synergies and clinical scores in seven stroke survivors. We also investigated correlations between neuromuscular complexity of muscle synergies and clinical scores. Our results showed that the STS task involved three motor modules representing distinct biomechanical functions among healthy subjects. In contrast, stroke participants showed 3 abnormal modules for the paretic leg and 2 modules for the non-paretic leg. After the intervention, muscle synergies partially shifted towards the normal pattern observed in healthy subjects on the paretic side. On the non-paretic side, the synergy modules increased to three and neuromuscular coordination improved. Furthermore, the significant intervention-induced increases in Fugl-Meyer Assessment of Lower Extremity and Berg Balance Scale scores were associated with improved muscle synergies on the non-paretic side. These results indicate that the paretic side demonstrates abnormal changes in muscle synergies post-stroke, while the non-paretic side can synergistically adapt to post-stroke biomechanical deviations. Our data show that exoskeleton-based training improved lower-limb function post-stroke by inducing modifications in muscle synergies.

Exoskeleton Device , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Adult , Humans , Muscle, Skeletal , Lower Extremity , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Survivors
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 102(28): e34249, 2023 Jul 14.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37443502

BACKGROUND: Motor impairment is common after a stroke and directly affects the function and quality of life of stroke survivors. Constraint-induced movement therapy and neuromuscular electrical stimulation are interventions that facilitate functional recovery of the upper extremities of a particular subgroup of stroke survivors. The objective of this study was to summarize the available evidence on the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation combined with constraint-induced movement therapy in patients with stroke. METHODS: We conducted a comprehensive search of published articles in electronic databases, including PubMed, Scopus, PEDro, Medline (via Ovid), EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science, using the following search terms: "stroke"; "upper extremity"; "Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy"; and "Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation." The search included published studies, conferences, and presentations. The article selection, data extraction, and quality evaluation will be conducted independently by 2 reviewers. The 3rd and 4th reviewers will assist in resolving any disagreements that may arise between the 2 reviewers. The risk of bias in the included studies will be assessed using the PEDro scale and Cochrane risk of bias assessment tool. Narrative synthesis and meta-analysis will be performed based on the characteristics of the included articles, including the risk of bias (if sufficient information is available). RESULTS: This review summarizes the available evidence and could assist therapists in choosing the best treatment for poststroke upper extremity dysfunction. CONCLUSION: This study will provide the available evidence on the effectiveness of CIMT and NMES on upper extremity function in patients with stroke. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval is not required because the review will be based on publicly available literature. The findings of this study will be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and updates will be made depending on whether sufficient additional evidence modifies the conclusions of the review. Any changes made to the methods throughout the review will be stated in the article. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42023415645.

Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Humans , Electric Stimulation , Meta-Analysis as Topic , Quality of Life , Stroke/complications , Stroke/therapy , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Survivors , Systematic Reviews as Topic , Upper Extremity
J Neuroeng Rehabil ; 20(1): 94, 2023 07 20.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37475014

BACKGROUND: Virtual reality (VR) is a promising solution for individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) who experience symptoms that affect their daily activities and independence. Through VR-based rehabilitation, patients can improve their motor skills in a safe and stress-free environment, making it an attractive alternative to traditional in-person rehabilitation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to provide the most recent and convincing evidence on the rehabilitative effects of VR technology compared with conventional treatments. METHODS: Two investigators systematically searched Embase, MEDLINE, CINAHL, PEDro, and the Cochrane Library from their inception until May 31, 2022, to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the effectiveness of VR training with that of conventional treatment for patients with PD. Studies were selected based on the patient, intervention, comparator, and outcome criteria and assessed for the risk of bias using the Cochrane tool. Meta-analysis was conducted by pooling mean differences with 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: A total of 14 RCTs, involving 524 participants, were included in the meta-analysis. The results indicated that VR-based rehabilitation significantly improved balance function, as measured using the Berg balance scale (BBS) and activities-specific balance confidence. However, no statistically significant differences in gait ability, activities of daily living, motor function, and quality of life were observed between the experimental and control groups. Subgroup analysis revealed that combination therapy affected heterogeneity in the BBS analysis. Meta-regression analysis demonstrated a significant positive relationship, indicating that more recent studies have shown greater improvements in balance function. CONCLUSION: This study's findings suggest that VR-based rehabilitation is a promising intervention for improving balance function in patients for PD compared with conventional treatment, and recent research supports its efficacy. However, future research should focus on conducting long-term follow-up studies and developing standardized protocols to comprehensively establish this intervention's potential benefits.

COVID-19 , Parkinson Disease , Stroke Rehabilitation , Virtual Reality , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Gait
BMJ Open ; 13(7): e076723, 2023 07 19.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37474180

INTRODUCTION: Telerehabilitation is an accessible service delivery model that may support innovative lower extremity rehabilitation programmes that extend the stroke recovery continuum into the community. Unfortunately, there is limited evidence on the provision of exercises for lower extremity recovery after stroke delivered using telerehabilitation. In response, we developed the TeleRehabilitation with Aims to Improve Lower extremity recovery poststroke (TRAIL) programme, a 4-week progressive exercise and self-management intervention delivered synchronously using video-conferencing technology. Our primary hypothesis is that individual within 1-year poststroke who participate in TRAIL will experience significantly greater improvements in functional mobility than individuals in an attention-controlled education programme (EDUCATION). METHODS AND ANALYSIS: In this multisite, parallel group, assessor-blinded randomised attention-controlled trial, 96 community-living stroke survivors within 1-year poststroke will be recruited from five sites (Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, London and Halifax, Canada) from the CanStroke Recovery Trials Platform which is a network of Canadian hospital sites that are affiliated with academic institutions to facilitate participant recruitment and quality trial practices. Participants will be randomised on a 1:1 basis to TRAIL or EDUCATION. Participants randomised to TRAIL will receive eight telerehabilitation sessions where they will perform exercises and receive self-management support to improve lower extremity recovery from a TRAIL physical therapist. The primary outcome will be measured using the Timed Up and Go. Secondary outcomes include lower extremity muscle strength, functional balance, motor impairment, balance self-efficacy, health-related quality of life and health service use for our economic evaluation. Measurements will be taken at baseline, immediately after the intervention, 3-month and 6-month postintervention. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval for this research has been obtained by all participating sites. All study participants will provide their informed consent prior to enrolling them in the study. Findings from this trial will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international scientific meetings. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:, NCT04908241.

Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Telerehabilitation , Humans , Canada , Independent Living , Lower Extremity , Quality of Life , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Multicenter Studies as Topic
Sensors (Basel) ; 23(13)2023 Jul 07.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37448084

Robotic systems for lower limb rehabilitation are essential for improving patients' physical conditions in lower limb rehabilitation and assisting patients with various locomotor dysfunctions. These robotic systems mainly integrate sensors, actuation, and control systems and combine features from bionics, robotics, control, medicine, and other interdisciplinary fields. Several lower limb robotic systems have been proposed in the patent literature; some are commercially available. This review is an in-depth study of the patents related to robotic rehabilitation systems for lower limbs from the point of view of the sensors and actuation systems used. The patents awarded and published between 2013 and 2023 were investigated, and the temporal distribution of these patents is presented. Our results were obtained by examining the analyzed information from the three public patent databases. The patents were selected so that there were no duplicates after several filters were used in this review. For each patent database, the patents were analyzed according to the category of sensors and the number of sensors used. Additionally, for the main categories of sensors, an analysis was conducted depending on the type of sensors used. Afterwards, the actuation solutions for robotic rehabilitation systems for upper limbs described in the patents were analyzed, highlighting the main trends in their use. The results are presented with a schematic approach so that any user can easily find patents that use a specific type of sensor or a particular type of actuation system, and the sensors or actuation systems recommended to be used in some instances are highlighted.

Robotics , Stroke Rehabilitation , Humans , Robotics/methods , Upper Extremity , Lower Extremity , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods
Ann Med ; 55(1): 2230886, 2023 Dec.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37452683

BACKGROUND: In the last three decades, both medical and sports science professionals have recognized the considerable potential of digital-based interventions (DBI) to enhance the health-related outcomes of their practitioners. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness and potential moderators of DBI on measures of muscular strength. METHODS: Six databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, SportDiscus, Embase, Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials and Google Scholar) were searched for eligible studies up to June 2022. The GRADE, PEDRO, and TIDieR checklists were used to assess the quality of evidence, methodology, and completeness of intervention descriptions, respectively. RESULTS: A total of 56 studies were included in the meta-analysis (n = 2346), and participants were classified as healthy (n = 918), stroke survivors (n = 572), diagnosed with other neurological disorders (n = 683), and frail (n = 173). The DBI showed a small effect (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.28, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.31; p < 0.001) on strength, regardless of the type of intervention, control group, or tested body part. More specifically, while splitting the studies into different subgroups, a meta-analysis of 19 studies (n = 918) showed a small effect (SMD = 0.38, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.63; p = 0.003) on strength in the asymptomatic population. Similarly, small but positive effects of DBI were observed for stroke survivors (SMD = 0.34, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.56; p = 0.002), patients diagnosed with other neurological disorders (SMD = 0.17, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.32; p = 0.021), and the frail population (SMD = 0.25, 95% CI 0.0 to 0.5; p = 0.051). Sub-group analysis and meta-regression revealed that neither variable modified the effects of the DBI on measures of strength. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, DBI may serve as an effective method to improve measures of strength in adults, regardless of their health status as well as the type of digital device, the presence of human-computer interaction, and the age of participants. In addition, the DBI was found to be more effective than traditional training or rehabilitation methods.KEY MESSAGESDigital-based intervention (DBI) is effective in improving measures of muscular strength in adults regardless of participants' health statusDBIs were equally effective for strength improvements in lower and upper limbsAlthough, DBIs were found to be effective in improving muscular strength, most studies did not follow strength training guidelines when prescribing the interventions.

Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Humans , Adult , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Muscle Strength , Health Status , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods
Sensors (Basel) ; 23(12)2023 Jun 12.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37420682

Stroke survivors often suffer from movement impairments that significantly affect their daily activities. The advancements in sensor technology and IoT have provided opportunities to automate the assessment and rehabilitation process for stroke survivors. This paper aims to provide a smart post-stroke severity assessment using AI-driven models. With the absence of labelled data and expert assessment, there is a research gap in providing virtual assessment, especially for unlabeled data. Inspired by the advances in consensus learning, in this paper, we propose a consensus clustering algorithm, PSA-NMF, that combines various clusterings into one united clustering, i.e., cluster consensus, to produce more stable and robust results compared to individual clustering. This paper is the first to investigate severity level using unsupervised learning and trunk displacement features in the frequency domain for post-stroke smart assessment. Two different methods of data collection from the U-limb datasets-the camera-based method (Vicon) and wearable sensor-based technology (Xsens)-were used. The trunk displacement method labelled each cluster based on the compensatory movements that stroke survivors employed for their daily activities. The proposed method uses the position and acceleration data in the frequency domain. Experimental results have demonstrated that the proposed clustering method that uses the post-stroke assessment approach increased the evaluation metrics such as accuracy and F-score. These findings can lead to a more effective and automated stroke rehabilitation process that is suitable for clinical settings, thus improving the quality of life for stroke survivors.

Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Wearable Electronic Devices , Humans , Consensus , Quality of Life , Stroke/diagnosis , Movement , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods