Robot therapy can improve arm, shoulder mobility in stroke patients

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Washington, Feb 11 (ANI): A new research has shown that therapy in which robots manipulate paralyzed arms, combined with standard rehabilitation, can improve arm and shoulder mobility in patients after stroke.

Patients on robotic therapy showed marked improvement in two measures of upper extremity function: the Fugl-Meyer flexor synergy score, a 0 to 12 scale with higher numbers reflecting recovery of voluntary arm movement; and the Fugl-Meyer shoulder/elbow/forearm score, a 0 to 36 scale with higher numbers reflecting recovery of motor function in the shoulder, elbow and forearm.

"Combining robotic exercise with regular rehabilitation may be the key to successful intervention," said Kayoko Takahashi, lead author of the study and clinician and research associate in the Department of Occupational Therapy in Kitasato University East Hospital in Kanagawa, Japan.

Robots could allow therapists to focus on helping patient's master daily activities while maintaining repetitive training, Takahashi said.

The successful test of robots adds a new wrinkle to stroke rehabilitation strategies, Takahashi said.

The research has been presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2011. (ANI)

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